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Friday, January 8, 2010

Hello/Goodbye: Or, NBC's Dumb Moves

This is one of the many reasons why network TV must die.

In the latest of a series of idiotic moves, NBC is (once again) talking about firing Conan O'brien (even talking of replacing him with Jerry Seinfeld). I don't know if anyone remembers back when Conan got his first show. I was a big fan of Conan's work on The Simpsons, and that same great sense of humor was coming though on the show. The problem was that he was a bit slow in building the void left behind by David Letterman. In response, a rumor floated around that Conan would be replaced by Greg Kinear-- who is funny, don't get me wrong (he was the reason I watched Talk Soup). But it didn't seem like they were really giving Conan a chance. But he proved his critics wrong, and went on to be one of the great stars of late night television.

Last year, NBC decided to make what many TV folk called a "bold move". Since Leno's contract was up, they decided that they would "revolutionize" television talk about introducing a Prime Time "Late Night" show, moving Leno to 10pm. That gave them the chance to move Conan up to the 11:30pm spot, which left room for Jimmy Fallon (eh...) to take the 12:30am. And, once again, NBC has shown its faith in O'Brien by threatening to fire him.

Now they're talking about giving Conan two options...a push back to 12:01am (?), and moving Leno back to 11:30pm (canceling his 10pm show)...which I guess pushes Fallon back to 1am?

This is one of the many reasons why they networks just need to die. I don't know anyone that actually stays up to watch these shows anymore. Not when you have Hulu and YouTube, and other internet-based media outlets. Timeslots should be completely and totally irrelevant. Content is really the only thing that matters. I doubt very seriously that Conan's content has changed since he had his 12:30am time slot. I also understand that there is a different audience at 11:30pm that probably does not really "get" Conan. I mean, NBC has an internet presence, so I don't understand why they are still relying on "numbers" in time slots that don't even matter anymore.

If I were Conan and/or Jay, I'd leave NBC and take over their respective shows. Do what Tom Green did. They each have a loyal following, and don't need the networks to carry their shows. And they shouldn't have any problems whatsoever finding sponsors or subscribers to help float the bills.

I honestly think all artists need to rise up and take their work away from the corporations. It's the artists that end up getting screwed and losing money, while the bulk to the earnings from their work goes to filling the pockets of people who would otherwise be selling soap instead of music, television, or film. Without artistic content, these people have nothing. The internet is a great vehicle that is yet to reach its full potential. With social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, it's easier (and cheaper) than ever to get the work out about your work.

So rise up, makers and creators!

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