You can see the dynamic here quite quickly: even as the networks try to stimulate interest in new series, in NMM view, we will fall back on the tried-and-true. The company has a more scientific explanation: it has to do with emotional bonding, as, according to Mediaweek, its methodology is based on the work of a behavioralist from the 1940s named Jonathan Bowlby who studied emotional bonding between mothers and their children. Apparently, that translates to the emotional bond viewers have with Leno. According to the company's research, 17 percent of his viewers gave him at least a 9 out of 10. Are they going to detach from Jay to watch a new show? Nah!
This prediction also dovetails nicely with research I pointed to the other day from Simulmedia, which notes that Conan O'Brien viewers are loyal to Conan, and not necessarily their habit of staying up really late. Of course, NMM could end up being wrong, but to get away from the emotional bonding analogy for a moment and move onto another one, Leno is like comfort food. And you know how we love our comfort food.
Previous coverage of "The Jay Leno Show" at BNET Media: