Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jay and Ted

Everything old is new again.

NBC finally realizes a Jay Leno hour at 10 pm is a major mistake. It wants Leno back at 11:30. There's a problem. Conan O'Brien currently has that time slot, another mistake.

There are two scenarios floating around. One has Leno doing a half hour show at 11:30, followed by O'Brien at midnight. The other is O'Brien leaving the network totally, but with a fat settlement.

I've never been an O'Brien fan. You can't trust a host who attempts to be funnier than his guests. O'Brien tries-- and fails.

It will take a while for Leno to get the stench of failure off him, even after a move back to 11:30. His 10 pm show wasn't funny, wasn't well constructed, and featured b-list guests, at best.

On the other hand, people like Leno. You can't teach that. You can't bottle that. You can blame the 10 pm failure on the time slot and the show NBC built around Leno.

NBC is in a no-win position, but it's clear the network has to do something. Leno provides a poor lead-in to the 11 pm news across the country. O'Brien has lost a huge chunk of the "Tonight" show audience. Affiliates are in revolt.

Now, ABC has some issues of its own. It has to find a "This Week" replacement for George Stephanopolous.

Internet rumors have former "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel doing the show three Sundays a month, with a rotating host on the fourth Sunday. Koppel is pushing 70, but he's still as sharp as ever. It would be a wise choice. He'd be perfect on "This Week."

I'm still not sold on Stephanopolous on "Good Morning America." He's okay. Robin Roberts is okay. The combination, however, is not okay. She overwhelms him. The team has been together only a month, and it will take some time for them to find their footing and their voice.

And, one more thing...  why do the Philadelphia Eagles continue to stick with quarterback Donovan McNabb and head coach Andy Reid?  Yes, they have a winning record, but they've plateaued.  They can't win the big one.  In fact, they look absolutely horrible in big games.  There is repeated failure under pressure.  It's embarrassing.  It's time to realize these guys have taken the team as far as it can go, and the Eagles have to make a change.