What's up at NBC these days? Certainly not the ratings. They've got late-night host wars and now early-morning host wars.
Jay Leno's contract is up in 2014 and NBC is trying to line up a successor — a proven ratings winner who can step in and take over “The Tonight Show.” Oh, yeah, that's already been done with Conan O'Brien, only he was given mere months to establish the audience that took Leno years to do.
NBC, however, is banking on Jimmy Fallon, current “Late Night” host, or at least that's what reports are saying. Leno evidently wanted a contract extension, because he's been, well, not too nice to NBC execs with his nightly monologue, and the execs are not budging in the “you're outta here” department.
Here's hoping Leno eventually develops some of the class O'Brien displayed when he was ousted.
Also in the news lately is a rehasing of Ann Curry's departure from “The Today Show.” Evidently Matt Lauer didn't, or couldn't, develop a chemistry — a rapport — with Curry during her short time as co-host. Since NBC wanted to keep Lauer (at $25 mil a year), it was obvious to cut Curry.
Now ratings have dipped; Lauer's popularity also has dipped. During the past year Lauer has looked to ABC — maybe to reunite with old co-host pal Katie Couric — or maybe just to get that hefty pay raise. Rumor also has it that NBC is eyeing others (Anderson Cooper) for Lauer's job. However, I know a late-night host who needs a job.