NBC Executive Blasts Conan O'Brien as an "Astounding Failure"

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Wow. Someone is actually on Team Jay!

In an interview with The New York Times, NBC executive Dick Ebersol referred to Conan O'Brien's run on The Tonight Show as an "astounding failure" and said:

"I like Conan enormously personally. He was just stubborn about not being willing to broaden the appeal of his show."

Fair enough. But might a problem also have been related to NBC's unfair, ridiculous decision to air The Jay Leno Show at 10 p.m. every night? Also based in Los Angeles, that program siphoned A-listers from The Tonight Show because it aired first.

Conan Pic

Ebersol said he met with Conan three weeks prior to his move to 11:35 p.m. and urged him to alter his approach in order to reach more viewers, but the host refused. O'Brien's reps confirm that a meeting took place between the sides.

As for the shots David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and company are taking at Jay Leno?

"[It's] chicken-hearted and gutless to blame a guy you couldn't beat in the ratings," Ebersol told the newspaper. "They're just striking out at Jay. It seems like professional jealousy."

And that seems like complete and utter BS from a guy that's in charge of a dying network and desperate to defend his job.


Leno is not funny and really never was. His bits are all basically stolen anyway. Ebersol is an egotistical idiot anyway and lives up to his first name. Leno and NBC should show some class and I hope Leno tanks in his old time slot - it would be good if it finally sank that idiot Zucker too. I won't watch Leno in any time slot and I hope others boycott too.


i wanted to add my comment into the mix, i think it's totally wrong to put conan on at 11:30 and just because jay can"t make the ratings there trying to screw conan. jay just retire and leave conan alone. my wishes go out to you conan good luck in what you decide to do in the future.


I never knew why NBC took Jay Leno from the Tonight show in the first place. The man is the best Talk Show host ever, and I'm talking about Johnny Carson too. Jay is way funnier than Carson. Conan is good on the very late time slot. He should have been left there. I'm so glad to see the original lineup coming back. Conan could NEVER compete with George Lopez. NBC will have a chance with Jay.


Yeah, don't blame Jay, blame the Dick.


I heard (years ago) that Jay Leno is a late night bully. I lost respect for him then and haven't watched him on late night since. His comedy is so bland that it can't even make me SMILE, let alone laugh. I'm heading for "old f**t" status, and I think Jay's jokes are either for people older than I am, or for people in the 9-12 year age bracket. Teenagers are more complex and too sophisticated for them. Conan's jokes don't always hit home with me, but when they do I can laugh for a couple of days over them. I love his humility and fresh comedy. I don't blame Conan for not bending over to Ebersol's pressure to broaden his appeal(be more like other comedians). What Conan does is what got him to where he is today. Jay Leno, show some class and prove that your word means something. Retire with your multi-millions and give back what you've been given...try charity for a change. Do a "Bob Hope" and entertain the troops.


Jay Leno sucks!!!!! He had 17 years, enough is enough, give Conan his chance!!!! Jay AGREED to leave 5 years ago, what the Hell is with with NBC and that idiot Zucker, not mention that loser DICK Ebersol...??? I remember that jerk almost single handedly ruined Saturday Night Live in the 80's. WHat a loser NBC has been, I haope they stay in 4th place for eternity!!!!


I work hard all day and turn on the tv to go to bed by. None of these guys are funny at all. I wish there were more humor like I see at comedy clubs with real jokes.


I'm with Coco. Can't stand Jay and the fact that Conan is getting the short end of the stick is just disgusting. Shame on NBC and shame on Jay. Jay should get some class and retire as was the original plan. He had the Tonight Show for 16+ years it's time for him to move on and let someone else have it. And as I said before, I'm with coco!


Thank goodness Mr. O'Brien is on to something else. I had watched him a half dozen times and never finished because I felt I was watching a bad 7th grade talent (less) show. Johnny C., Jay L., and Jimmy all have a definite sense of class, Mr. O'Brien just doesn't. I'm sure he will find his niche in some other venue, I would hope so anyway.


Conan O'Brien Biography

Conan O'Brien was hilarious at 12:30 a.m. But he hasn't fared well in the Tonight Show time slot and rumors began to circulate in early... More »
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