From what I’ve heard, he’s a nice guy. Also, he supported the writers’ strike, and now the guild is screwing with him (which is totally unfair). He may be the most middle-of-the-road comedian in history, but he’s still a lot funnier than most of the guys in the office who hate him.
Despite all that, fuck his show.
One particular quote caught my eye:
NBC executives dismiss the notion that Leno’s new gig is robbing the industry of jobs. “The Jay Leno Show” will have a staff of 22 writers who belong to the Writers Guild, which is far more than the typical drama, the network points out.
First of all, there’s a lot more at stake than writers’ jobs. A normal scripted show employs 100 to 150 cast and crew members. Even if this variety show has that large of a crew (unlikely), that still amounts to around 500 people out of work.
On top of that, even the writers are getting screwed. Scripted shows have a staff of between five and ten writers. At the low end of that estimate, three writers are still out of work.
I will concede NBC has a point with what they said next:
The show will produce 230 episodes a year, as opposed to 22 episodes for the average drama, which means the writers will be employed longer. And the show will be locally produced in Burbank, thus preventing the flight of jobs to Vancouver, Toronto or one of the other out-of-state locations where many scripted series are now shot.
That’s great, but they’ll be shooting on the NBC-Universal lot 90% of the time. All of the location fees, catering costs, and other ancillary businesses that depend on crew shooting in Los Angeles get cut out.
But here’s the thing. No matter how much the industry cries and screams and moans, The Jay Leno Show will be a success. How do I know?
Sure, you could analyze the tracking numbers, or discuss how much the show costs versus how good the ratings are, but I’ve come to realize that the most reliable bellweather of success is my mom.
If my mom has heard of something, be it a book or a movie or a TV show, that means it has so permeated the culture as to be inescapable by even a grey-haired, retired school teacher whose favorite band is and always will be The Beatles.
Furthermore, if my mom’s eight old biddy friends all discuss a particular show, and profess a desire to watch it (like my mom told me they did last night), then that show will be huge.
And we’re all going to be out of work.