Wednesday, September 16, 2009

View From the Phlipside

One of the shows fans (Dude, I have fans! So excited) asked if we could spread the scripts out over several days for longer enjoyment. So I figured we could try. One today, one tomorrow and one on Friday.

These are the scripts from my weekly media commentary program on WRFA-LP Jamestown

My name is Jay Phillippi and I've spent my life in and around the media. TV, Radio, the movies and more. I love 'em and I hate em' and I always have an opinion. Call this the view from the Phlipside

The great new experiment that is the new Jay Leno show begins this week. I've registered here before my reservations about this show. NBC is turning over five hours a week of prime TV real estate to the former Tonight Show host in the hopes that he can generate 46 weeks worth of comedy each year. Of course they've also eliminated the slots for five TV series that would create roles for actors that they could interview on the show. On the whole it's a gamble plugging in the same show, over and over, night after night, week after week. I mean who does that?

Funny you should mention that. Someone recently pointed out that LOTS of folks have been doing that for a while now. With some remarkable success. Call it the cable TV effect. I mean check, as an example, USA network. For three hours every week day in the early evening they play re-runs of NCIS. How do I know? Well, um, because I watch several hours of it. In fact I'd never seen an episode of NCIS until we discovered it on USA. Lots of stations do that. It's become a major part of the business for cable TV.

The question is will it work during a prime time hour? It appears that financially it almost has to work. A week of Leno's new program is said to cost as much as a single night of a prime time drama. So your production costs drop by about 80%. You have the recognition factor of Jay Leno's name and his immense likability. The guy was incredibly successful doing late night TV. Of course not all of us are into late night TV. So is there really this great pent up demand for classic late night TV programming in prime time? There could be. You see this isn't the first time something like this has been tried.

In 1962 NBC, in fear that they would lose the big star host of the Tonight Show after he stepped down, offered Jack Paar his own prime time program and carte blanche to do anything he wanted. Unlike Leno Paar was only on one night a week. Leno like Paar is doing a variation on his original show. The Jack Paar show had the honor of offering the Beatles their first prime time American TV exposure (yes, BEFORE the Sullivan show).

The Jack Paar show lasted three years. That's the bar Jay Leno can be aiming for.

Call that the view from the Phlipside


Anonymous said...

A prime example of why it's called "show business," not "show artistic expression."

PseudoPiskie said...

And that it a business, not a charity presentation.