ABC, CBS Urge Stars to Boycott Leno

The Jay Leno Show performing well, but many still want it to fail
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2009 10:07 AM CDT
In this Oct. 28, 2007, file photo, Jay Leno, left, and Jerry Seinfeld laugh while arriving at the Los Angeles premiere of "Bee Movie," in the Westwood section of Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Weeks, file)
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(Newser) – Jay Leno touched off a firestorm of industry backlash as he launched his primetime show, and it’s not over yet: Rival networks ABC and CBS are encouraging their stars to boycott The Jay Leno Show since it competes with their own 10pm series, the Los Angeles Times reports. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a longtime Leno pal and the first CBS actor to appear on the show, told the host uncomfortably, “Yes, there was a little pressure, because, as you know, you are now on primetime and I'm on a different network." More Leno news:

  • A significant number of people are skipping Conan—to watch Jay instead. TiVo reports that 20% of people who record The Jay Leno Show watch it within an hour—in other words, just as The Tonight Show is coming on. About 50% of Leno’s total audience is watching his show on DVR.
  • Leno’s ratings are better than expected, and more viewers are watching his show live—but NBC’s ratings for the 10pm time slot, local news telecasts, and The Tonight Show are down when compared to last year’s.