Alex Ben Block has a story on The Hollywood Reporter (in this case via Reuters) about the savvy move on NBC's part to keep Jay Leno and stick him in prime time five nights a week. The article suggests that all Leno needs to do is rate a 2.0 among adults 18-49 and he will be golden. But I don't think it has to do that well, and even being silver or bronze might be OK with NBC. We won't know until the fall when it actuall happens.
But the article goes into some detail about the advertising sales, and the differences in the way ads will be sold for Leno in primetime versus late night, and also addresses Leno's need to lower the age of its median viewer. NBC's dramas had a median age of 47, but the Tonight Show had a median age of 54.
It's an interesting article with more than a couple of numbers, I recommend reading the whole thing.
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – If there's something advertisers, analysts and even most critics agree on when discussing the fall's launch of "The Jay Leno Show" five nights a week, it's that NBC has made a savvy business move.
"Economically it makes a lot of sense, because certainly Jay is a lot cheaper to produce than the Monday-through-Friday primetime lineup," says Steve Sternberg, executive vp audience analysis for Interpublic's Magna Global, a division of global ad agency Interpublic, which buys TV advertising time from the major networks. "And if you think about it, they haven't had a major hit in a while at 10 p.m."
The cost of an hour drama typically approaches $3 million, while an episode of Leno is expected to be closer to $400,000 -- a weekly saving of $13 million at a time when NBC Universal and its parent, General Electric, have been working hard to cut costs. (NBC declined comment for this story.)