Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jay Leno Draws Huge 18.4 Million Viewers

Jay Leno's new 10PM prime-time comedy show is a runaway success for NBC. On Monday, the show claimed a huge 18 million viewers, something that no NBC 10PM show has claimed since the peak years of ER. Leno's new show managed a great marketing coup by having singer Kanye West on as a guest right after his notorious appearance at the VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS. Leno booked Jerry Seinfeld and other major guests as well.

Leno's new show had to look to book many non-network stars because of networks like ABC, CBS and FOX banning their stars from the new prime-time Leno show. But despite this, many top stars promoting films or other projects are appearing in their place. Leno also has more comedy bits as well. Unlike the old program where all of the comedy was during the first half hour, the new show has comedy bits throughout the show.

NBC's bold move to have a prime-time Leno prevented his possible jump to either FOX or ABC, as well proved a brilliant programming cost cutting move.

Next week the new Leno show might be more tested as it runs against many new 10PM shows on the other networks like ABC, CBS and FOX. If Leno is still no top, it might force some rethinking just what should fill the 10PM hour on the other networks. You might expect a counter-programming jumble of some sorts if Leno appears to be salvaging the other networks viewers. The other networks have a huge investment in expensive 10PM dramas and can ill afford to bleed away viewers and advertising cash flow to a cheaper sort of programming like the new Leno show.

Stay tuned!


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