I'm the first to call out the NY Times when they fumble, so I wanted to note today's "Debate Over Effects of Leno’s Show" by Bill Carter for doing a good summary of the current Leno situation. We've covered most of the points before, but hey, the NY Times has to let things percolate before weighing in.
The Current Leno Situation
1. Law & Order:SVU ratings downturn because of the move to a 9pm slot. I've written that this is the one specific show ratings slide that Leno can share blame for.
2. Erosion in Tonight Show ratings perhaps caused by Jay at 10. My opinion is that it's more due to Jay being out of the Tonight Show than him being in at 10pm.
3. By itself, The Jay Leno Show's done close to or better than NBC's public ratings expectations, so far. By the end of the season Jay will almost certainly do better than what NBC had on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays last season, plus based on NBC's current track record, what they'd have put on Thursdays (Southland or not).
4. Wait until Jay's competition is in reruns. Will be interesting to see the changes on weeks that ABC and CBS are in reruns. Still more than a month away from any reruns though.
5. Gripes from potential 10pm show producers, both anonymous and not. Understandable, but newsworthy?
6. Quite a stretch blaming the cancelation of Southland on Jay, relying on the goofy "too gritty for 9pm" excluse. My opinion is that Southland's fate is the first of many Ben Silverman clean ups we'll see from NBC. This can't be laid on Leno, Southland should never have been renewed.
7. Local NBC affiliates have kept quiet, so far. The fact that no one in the TV media has been able to pry a quote out of an affiliate is interesting. NBC's iron grip? or something else?
8. Hey, ABC's not doing so well at 10pm either! I've got a post coming up this week on this.
9. It's too early to tell. Indeed.