Jay, Conan Bite The Hand That Feeds Them
NBC executives who have been pummeled by critics in recent days for their failed effort to move Jay Leno into the 10 00 p.m. primetime period and their current effort to salvage the situation by moving him back to 11 35, shorten his show, and follow it with the Conan O'Brien-hosted Tonight show found themselves besieged Monday by the two late-night hosts themselves. On his show, Leno commented "NBC said they wanted drama at 10. Now they've got it. Everybody's mad! ... I take pride in one thing. I leave NBC primetime the same way I found it -- a complete disaster." (The to-do over the NBC moves failed to boost Leno's ratings Monday night; only 4.8 million viewers tuned in.) On his show, O'Brien said that he had not yet made up his mind what to do but was considering several alternatives. One of them "Star in a Lifetime original movie about a woman trapped in an abusive relationship with her network." Meanwhile, Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly told television critics in Pasadena Monday that he is waiting for O'Brien to decide what to do. "I love Conan personally and professionally, but right now he's got a decision to make on his future. Until he makes that decision, there really is no conversation to be had" about offering him a late-night job on Fox.