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News on Jay Leno's Primetime Show: It Will Include Comedy

If you were looking for NBC to provide lots of illumination about how Jay Leno's primetime show will differ from his current, late night one, don't look at the clip above. It's amusing, but for the most part, it's a three-minute send-up of the high murder rate on network TV during the 10:00 hour, with Leno promising his show will have "98 percent fewer murders." The new show will also encourage guests to "get off the couch" and promises "a huge new studio specially designed for comedy" whatever that means. Charles Barkley makes a cameo appearance during which he is reassured that "all of your favorite comedy bits are coming to primetime."

And that's the Achilles' Heel, if the plan to move Leno to 10 p.m. has one. Advertisers are used to looking at primetime differently than late night, for many reasons, including, of course, the salient fact that more people are watching during primetime. But if the show is too much like what it has been during late night, they may balk at paying primetime prices. For the most part, this new show doesn't look much different from Leno's current show. It's a perception thing.

On the other hand, as I said months ago, maybe it doesn't matter if advertisers end up paying less for Leno than they are for other 10 p.m. shows. Low production costs + virtually no repeats = Profitability. Thanks to The New York Times for originally posting this clip so I could find it.

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