September 15, 2009

Jay Leno Show Offers Hit-Or-Miss Moments; Not Necessarily a Bad Thing

The eyes of the world (or at least the eyes of the media) were on the debut episode of The Jay Leno Show last night. The idea of a 10pm talk show was a big risk for NBC (my employer. Holla, NBC) and I think it's going to take a while before anyone can really deem the show a success or failure.

The show is pretty much the same shtick Jay did on The Tonight Show (not matter what execs say.) So, if you like Jay Leno you'll be very happy. If you don't like Jay Leno then you're probably already watching something else.

The first episode was a little iffy for me, but such is the case of any first-time show; even if you have a veteran host. There were steep highs and lows... moments of funny/interest and a lot of instances of dragging comedy. But maybe the secret to the success of The Jay Leno Show isn't having strong ratings every night, but having memorable moments and viral clips.

Take for instance this clip of the egomaniac Kanye West, who briefly chatted with Jay about his outburst at the Video Music Awards. By far the standout moment of the night...

I think critics and viewers need to treat The Jay Leno Show like the Today show at night. You can't ingest it like you would a typical 10pm drama. No one watches the Today show from start to finish (it's four hours, how could you?) They watch it in the background while getting ready for the day and may stop the morning routine to watch something that piques their interest. The Jay Leno Show almost has that same feel but at night, where viewers are prepping for bed instead of work. Watching the show straight through might be a little boring, but turning your head at the TV to watch something of interest to you while brushing your teeth for bed might be the way to go.

Either way, it's going to viewers and the network a while to let the dust settle around this groundbreaking TV move. Did you watch The Jay Leno Show? What are your thoughts?