Why Hollywood Wants Leno to Fail

Some see new, cheap show as threat to jobs
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 14, 2009 7:22 AM CDT
In this Aug. 5, 2009, file photo, comedian Jay Leno attends the NBC Summer press tour party in Pasadena, Calif.   (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, File)
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(Newser) – Tonight marks the premiere of Jay Leno’s new show, and many in Tinseltown—not just rival execs—are hoping it flops, the Los Angeles Times reports. That’s because it substitutes cheap fare for the traditional 10pm drama. Many in the industry see the show as a “potential job-wrecker” for those thousands who’ve earned a living for years on scripted shows, writes Scott Collins.

Leno’s show is set to cost just a third of the $300 million a year each network typically drops on 10pm content. Leno acknowledges the playing field has gotten tough: “I don’t know what TV is anymore,” he says. “The advertising dollars are not there anymore.” While his show may not beat CSI: Miami and The Mentalist, scoring just 5 million viewers could make the inexpensive show a winner.