Give NBC credit for one thing: even if only briefly, it sure made late night interesting again. OK, so it was through a series of bungles, but for the first time in ages late night was top of mind again.
Soon, things will revert back to the way things used to be back when nobody cared, only with Jimmy Fallon following Leno instead of Conan. Probably not too long after that, nobody will care again.
There will be heightened interest at first when Jay Leno returns to 11:35p. But assuming he climbs back to the top of the late night mountain, an ascent I’m guessing he’ll manage in rapid fashion, interest will die off.
But at least initially there will be interested onlookers, and especially anyone rooting for Leno to fail will care for a while. About the ratings, that is. We’re of course, always happy when people care about the ratings.
There is the issue of when and where Conan lands and that may stoke the embers again for a little bit and sooner or later something else will come along to captivate our interest. It always does.
But the late night fires might never again burn as brightly.