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The Jay Leno Bruhaha: A Masterclass Perspective


20130325-112257.jpgI don’t pretend to understand the inner workings of the television industry. If I did, I would have immediate answers to remedy the mess that we now call our television wasteland.

Yet, honestly, this Jay Leno story has made me step out of the comfy confines of my technologically enhanced home and reach out to the executives at NBC who have, apparently, lost touch with reality, especially when it comes to what works on late night television.

What in earth are they thinking? Replace Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon? Where is the logic in this?

Presently, Mr. Leno is crushing the competition, which includes Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and David Letterman.

Also, the Tonight Show is the only show on NBC that is standing at Number One in the ratings and, over the years, has been NBC’s saviour in the midst of the chaos that now reigns on that network.

I knew something was clearly amiss when, at the start of one of his comedy skits, Jay Leno snuck in a little plug for Fox’s, The Following. To no one in particular, I said: “Why is Jay plugging The Following? Shouldn’t he be touting the plummeting NBC series Smash? Something is up! He couldn’t be planning a move to Fox, can he”?

Well, yes, apparently he can! A couple of days later, the story broke that the Fox executives are indeed wooing him to their team. Well, get your affairs in order because this must mean the world is ending. At least the TV world as we know it!

Jay Leno has taken a lot of heat from the critics and the viewing audience and I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why. He is extremely adept at interviewing guests from all walks of life, entertainers, actors, politicians, political activists.

Can any of these younger, supposedly hipper talk show hosts bring any depth to the late night talk scene? Yes, their comedy routines may be entertaining and all, but how adept would they be at interviewing President Obama, Michael Moore, Bill O’Reilly, etc.?

Jay Leno has a special knack, a finesse, for mixing serious talk with humor, something that these younger comedians have yet to master. It’s called experience and working extremely hard at your craft, researching, reading, doing your homework.

NBC – wake up and nourish your brain cells already! There is more to life besides slapstick comedy, reality shows and mindless drivel.

And, oh, by the way, if you had programmed Smash at 9:00 P.M. instead of 10:00 P.M., this show’s ratings would not have suffered. Who watches musical theatre and drama at 10:00 at night? No one, that’s who. I DVR the show and watch it the next day. This is my time to either unwind or go to sleep. It is a superb show but, through poor programming decisions, you – and you alone – placed all the nails in its coffin.

In short, a mentality metamorphosis needs to take place at NBC. The key to future success lies in strong programming choices and stellar script writing. You know, similar to your Seinfeld/Frasier/Cheers/Golden Girls days?

And, leave well enough alone. Jay Leno is your ace in the hole and you cannot afford to alienate him. Let it be. Start working on the rest of your line-up – the last thing you need to worry about is The Tonight Show With Jay Leno! Unless you are on a path to self-destruction, it is time to turn your efforts in the right direction and assess the problems you are encountering in Prime Time, not Late Time.

You’re welcome! Ha!

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About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

17 Responses to “The Jay Leno Bruhaha: A Masterclass Perspective”

  1. I don’t follow late night TV at all BUT your words are resoundingly and emphatically put together. Maybe NBC needs a women like you on their program scheduling team! Someone with a little common sense!?!

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  2. Hey Rosanne !

    I once was a huge Leno fan … every night for years. But when the big Conan thing happened a couple years back and they moved Leno to 10:30 and then back again to 11:30 I began to lose interest. I think it was the fact that they were lying about everything that was going on and saying that it was all a mutual agreement and then finding out it wasn’t, it begin to change the way I felt about Leno and the producers. It changed the way I started looking at him as a comic. I don’t watch any more. May be 10 times in the last 2 years. When I do look though, he;s still funny.

    I think what is going on is that Jay Leno does “old school” comedy. Its good but he’s not “out there” like the younger comics. I’ll never forget I saw a show with a street reporter and they asked a young girl, maybe in her early 20’s , “Whats the first word that comes to your mind when you think of Jay Leno?” and her answer was ….”old “. I had never thought of him in terms like that before seeing that. Just funny. I’m not a big “jimmy Fallon’ fan nor did I like him on “Saturday Night Live”. Its just not my brand of comedy. I grew up on Johnny Carson and the Jay Leno, so I guess that means I’m “old school” too.
    I think everybody knows Fallon is not ready for the 11:30 spot the same as Conan wasn’t. All they know is that the Leno ratings aren’t what they used to be and they’re trying to get them back. I think they lost the rating when they did the last change and they are gone forever thats their big bo bo..

    I’ll watch the new show to see if Falon is changed, but if he hasn’t then thats its for me and late night comedy. (Letterman doesn’t do it for me)

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  3. I agree with brotherkarl…I loved Johnny Carson, but have not formed a bond with any of the other late night hosts, so therefor I have not watched in years…Jay Leno never was my cup of tea, and I can see where he would appear old to the hip youngsters of today…why not fill that seat with the Seth kid who did the Oscars?

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  4. Brotherkarl…….the word is that when Jimmy Fallon takes Jay Leno’s place, Howard Stern is gonna jump in Fallon’s shoes!!!

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  5. Howard Stern ….Oh my. That’d be interesting. He’s not really a comic. I guess they could write for him. One thing for certain. Howard Stern is not a stranger to late night talk and when he was on his show was really raunchy.

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  6. Awestruck – thank you so much. But, honestly, it just seems logical. It just goes to show how out of sync these network execs are with their audience. Sad.

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  7. Brotherkarl…from what I read, they are thinking that he has shown his tame side on AGT, so maybe they are hoping he can keep it together for late night!!! I must say I was pleasantly surprised with him on AGT, but I don’t know how he will be on a non-family friendly show!!!

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  8. Vonnie – Howard Stern will definitely bring in the ratings. And it is a well known fact that he does not like Jay Leno so he probably can’t wait to take over Jimmy Fallon’s spot. I just bet NBC want him in Jay’s seat.

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  9. MCL…funny that you say that; while Howard is rejecting any notion that he is taking Jimmy’s seat, he did make a joke that he is taking Leno’s place!!!

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  10. Vonnie!! Really? That is sooo funny. He really has it in for Jay,doesn’t he? I just bet he is aching to fill his chair. Not too sure how it would all pan it, to be honest.

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  11. I wish that I could link you to the site’s that I have been reading this, I am on mobil and my nook won’t let me copy and paste!!!

    But yes! I think something is in the works, why else for all of the rumors!!!

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  12. Yes, this may be why Jay is so nasty in his monologues. Howard Stern and Jay Leno are enemies of the worst kind, but most of the venom is coming from Howard’s mouth. I am sure Jay cannot be happy about this latest twist.

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  13. This is the first I’ve heard of this feud. I don’t think I could do Howard. He’s a totally different man on his late night shows then he is on AGT. Its because its a family show. I will say this though, I’m sure the ratings would be much higher than Jay’s and even though Howard is older then Jimmy, he is more raw. He is the ultimate shock jock. On cable it was one thing but on a network this large though ….I …I …I …. just can’t imagine where this would go

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  14. Well, this is an interesting read. Jimmy Kimmel is not exactly a fan of Jay Leno, but he speaks politically correct in this article. Throws some cookie crumbs in Jay’s direction. Interesting.

    http://www.broadcastingcable.com/blog/BC_Beat/33786-Jimmy_Kimmel_on_His_Ratings_Where_He_Would_Like_Leno_to_Go_Not_What_You_Think_and_the_One_Area_Where_He_s_Actually_on_Jay_s_Side.php

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  15. I remember Howard from his DC days with the greasman and all of that nasty mess…that was why I was not happy to see him on AGT…he shocked me at how well he cleaned up forvthat show…I’m with brotherkarl, you put him at an un-family friendly hour and they are going to can him the first week!!!

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