NBC’s risky move to put Jay Leno in a 10 p.m. slot is starting to look like a bid to maybe out Daily Show The Daily Show by moving in a newsier direction.
Last week, according to Broadcast & Cable, NBC Entertainment Marketing President Adam Stotsky hinted that the show could be a complement to the network’s news offerings.
“He [Leno] likes to talk about this as a broadcasting brand. You can start your day getting informed on topical issues with Today, get deeper insight with Nightly News and Brian Williams, and then laugh about the news at 10 with Leno.”
It sets up an interesting battle. If Leno’s 10 p.m. show offers up compelling news-oriented comedy or satire, will the appetite be there an hour later for Jon Stewart? How many of those viewers or advertising dollars will Leno siphon off.
Leno’s ability to get significant guests, from Governor Terminator to President Obama to the biggest stars in Hollywood dwarfs the appeal of Stewart and Colbert, where Sarah Vowell, Jim Cramer and Ben Affleck are the standard fare.
And by that point in the evening, the show might even get a jump on CNN or MSNBC.
“Whether or not we’ll source audience away from 10 p.m. news remains to be seen,” Stotsky says. “One of the hallmarks of his comedy is his ability to talk about the issues of the day in a way that’s fun and entertaining.”
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