Sunday, January 10, 2010


On a mildly cool day this past December, after the deal with Comcast closed, Jeff Zucker spoke about the future of NBC. He was calm, composed and articulate. He spoke with the confidence of a man with a billion-dollar cushion. In that well prepared statement, Mr. Zucker confessed something to his audience, "When you're on top, you stay with things too long, you don't invest enough [in new programming]...and we [NBC] made all of those cyclical mistakes." This admission, while not exactly a mea culpa, was a step in the right direction. For NBC to once again become a haven for good television, it needs to purge its soul. It must come clean with the viewing public that buys its advertiser’s products and the creative community that generates all the content that sells that advertising. It would be a tremendous mistake if their PR machine tried to spin gold out of the straw-failures of the last ten years.

Today, Jeff Gaspin, the current NBC fall guy, told us about the demise of the Jay Leno experiment. The future of Jay, Conan and Jimmy will fall out of place in the next few weeks. The death of Jay at 10 pm was inevitable. Everyone knew it… including Jay. It was like watching a fat man run the marathon. You can cheer for him, pray for a miracle, but ultimately you know he’ll end up in a puddle of his own puke at the two mile marker. So NBC will go back to a mix of dramas, reality and magazine news at ten. I’m sure they will throw a lot of money and talent at the problem and have as much success as the other talent and money heavers. But the bigger question is not whether the network can regain its glory; it’s whether it can regain its dignity. The peacock has been brutally ass-raped and the feathers are broken, stained and may never be free of the stench of Ben Silverman’s reality juice.

For the record, I love the National Broadcast Company. I grew up on it. Johnny Carson put me and my scotch-damp mother to bed every night. Its shows made me want to be a writer… and a drinker. I want nothing more than for the network to rise up from the asses, once again a beautiful bird filled with wonder, intrigue and amusement. But to do this it must first exercise deep and thoughtful contrition. I know that for myself, the only way I can heal and recover from my pain and loss is to be completely honest and make reparations. So I've taken it upon myself to draft an amends list for NBC. Mr. Zucker, the following list is my service to you. Please don’t seek me out to thank or praise me, it’s not truly service unless it’s done unselfishly, without expectation of reward.

It’s a brief, incomplete collection, but I believe it will get the honesty ball rolling. I’m sure once you are gripped by the spirit of truth, the ecstasy of repentance will overtake you and the following list will grow exponentially. I strongly suggest you buy several hour blocks out of your prime time schedule to read the list to the world. I promise you, the rewards will come back to you threefold.

Forgive me maker, for I have sinned. It’s been a thousand cycles since my last confession…

To Kevin Reilly: 
Hiring you was probably one of my best decisions. You were instrumental in developing our few successes, Heroes, 30 Rock, Deal or No Deal. Firing you was definitely one of my worst mistakes. Quite frankly, your admiration for creatives terrified the accountants. For this I am truly sorry.

To Ben Silverman: 
Yes, you were a narcissistic, over-adrenalized, used-idea salesman, but the fact that I handed over control of a network to an inexperienced, talent-light party boy is absolutely insane. Your failure is not only my burden, it’s my fault. For this I am truly sorry.

To Jeff Gaspin: 
I’ve given you an impossible task. You will inevitable become just another tipped King in my never-ending, always-losing chess game. Nine months from now, I will fire you and hire another. Eleven months from that appointment, I will fire him. You see the pattern. I stay, they go, we never improve. For this I am truly sorry.

To Jay Leno: 
Your blue collar work ethic should be an inspiration to all of us executives who get paid ridiculous amounts of money for churning rhetoric and dry-humping statistics. You owned 11:30. Cutting you loose was the single biggest fuck-up on my incredibly long list of fuck-ups. I sucked you dry, dumped you, whispered sweet promises in your ear, coaxed you back into the bedroom, then sucked and dumped you again. Now I’d like a big “do-over”. Can’t we just go back to the way it was? Please? For this I am truly sorry.

To Conan O’Brien: 
Your quirky, self-deprecating humility should be an inspiration to all us egomaniacal, fear-based executives who get paid ridiculous amounts of money for spending the entire day measuring our dicks. You owned 12:30. Cutting you loose was the second biggest fuck-up on my incredibly long list of fuck-ups. I whispered sweet promises in your ear, gave you the brass ring, then dumped you for last year’s model. Now I’d like a big “do-over”. Can’t we just go back to the way it was? Please? For this I am truly sorry.

To Jimmy Fallon: 
You’re charming and you’re gone. For this I am truly sorry.

To Carson Daly: 
Are you still on my network? Really? For that I am truly sorry.

To New Media: 
I am trying to embrace the internet as a viable outlet for television, but my opinion of it changes daily. My head is so far up my Hulu, I can’t tell if I’m trading analog dollars for digital pennies, dimes, quarters, marbles or feathers? For this I am truly sorry.

To GE Shareholders:
You renewed my contract for three more years. Have you been living in a fucking cave? For this I am truly sorry.

To Writers, Directors, Actors, Producers and Crew: 
For the longest time I searched and searched for a way to do television without you. But apparently viewers enjoy complex characters, good story and moving performances. Boy, my R&D people are a little embarrassed. Who knew that by taking away thousands of jobs, I was going to disappoint millions of viewers. For this I am truly sorry.

Specifically To John Wells and Graham Yost: 
Boomtown and Southland… What can I say? Honestly, I think it was self sabotage. I was suffering from extreme self-loathing and I just felt I wasn’t worthy of having brilliant shows. For this I am truly sorry.

To our viewing audience: 
I deeply, deeply regret all the above and especially -- the XFL, Knight Rider remake, Crusoe, Kings, My Own Worst Enemy, Kath & Kim, Chopping Block, you get the idea… I admit, I’ve made some very bad choices and quite frankly, I didn’t give a shit about you. To me, you were all just a statistic, the unwashed masses that keep Wal-Mart in business. But now I see, I was wrong. Your needs are my future. We cannot be the National Broadcast Company without a nation. You are my spice and I am your sugar. For these and all of my sins, please forgive me. I am truly sorry.”


Anonymous said...

Brilliantly put together and oh so true. lol
Sunny Richardson

Chris said...

Bravo! *clap*clap*clap*clap*clap*

Jim Johnson said...

"XFL, Knight Rider remake, Crusoe, Kings, My Own Worst Enemy, Kath & Kim, Chopping Block"

Which of these shows does not belong with the others?

Kings was a fantastic show.

Aris said...

You had me, and pretty much still do, except for bagging on Kings.

Anonymous said...

Reeks of AA bullshit. FAIL.

michele said...


Eric said...

Wow that is a fantastic look at NBC. It is so true that execs have lost the eye for entertaining. Hiding behind millions of ad dollars that any special interest group can 'boycott' because they didn't like something said, that was in no way an FCC violation.

kimshum said...

Forgive the impertinence, but I'm a knee-jerk editor; it's what assistants do. This was a glorious post, but could be improved with a couple quick spelling fixes. (You don't have to approve this comment, btw; it's just an fyi.)

You spelled Kevin Reilly's name incorrectly in the section devoted to him. In both the Leno and O'Brien sections, it should be "cutting you loose."

I want nothing more than for the network to rise up from the asses

I thought you meant 'ashes' there...but it's entirely possible you really do mean asses. So I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt.

But on the whole, glorious.

Bart said...

I would argue that NBC's biggest mistake was banking on quality programming translating into high ratings. For all the flack NBC has gotten over the past few years, they've been responsible for putting some of the best programs on network television. Is it NBC's fault that the masses would rather watch three different C.S.I.s and two nights of AMERICAN IDOL than a quality show like FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS or JOURNEYMAN or LIFE?

The 10:00 Jay Leno experiment wasn't the problem for NBC. That was an attempt to solve the problem that failed miserably. Now that Leno is back at late night where he belongs, the original problem still persists for NBC. And until they can find shows to air at 8:00 and 9:00 that people want to watch, then it doesn't matter what's airing at 10:00.

tonilost said...

I'm starting to think you dont like Jeff Zucker, just a hunch.

Anonymous said...

Kings was good!

Anonymous said...

Ya think he'll hear you - never mind listen. From my observations, he does not do either. As always, I am LMAO with you take. Keep it coming!

Andi said...

I realized the other day that I hadn't watched a single NBC program since... I'm pretty sure that NBC has fallen so out of touch with viewers that they're beyond redemption.

Elliott said...

Hit the nail on the head... again.

Anonymous said...

I love you for this! It needed to be said!!!!!!!! And that is what's up!

thomasanderson said...

Hey now, Kings wasn't that bad. Even if the execution didn't hit the mark, I think you've gotta give them credit for giving it a chance to grow.

Brian B. said...

Yeah i think your giving Heroes the benifit of the doubt. Isnt that show suppose to reach my demographic (m 18-25) ive always hated that show. Regaurdless. Now that Zucker is trying to fix this mess whats the chances Conan takes a pass and leaves for another network. Say FOX, you know where most of the good shows are. (And im including yours cause even though your show's on FX isnt that owned by Fox?)

Grady Smith said...

Haha, very well said and creatively written! I agree that NBC is a mess, and I'm glad I'm not the one that has to fix it. Still, I wonder when the tide will turn for ABC. They have a few banner shows keeping them legitimate-appearing, but once Desperate Housewives, Lost, and Grey's are removed from the equation, we're looking at a big mess of a network. NBC has been such a whipping boy for the other networks, and I'm sure ABC is glad no one's pointing at them yet.

Also, "rise from the asses" Not sure if that was a typo or not, but I laughed very hard!

Anonymous said...

My drink came running out of my nose when I got up to the Carson Daily part, that's to funny.

I've been cheering against NBC since they announced the Leno in Primetime news last year. It's not that I hate Leno (though I'm not a big fan of his), but I despised NBC for making me watch more TV ads while they tried to give me less quality. On top of the missing quality, other shows like SVU were hurt because they couldn't tell the stories they could do at 10pm. Then on top of that, the thousands of people who lost jobs because they wanted to go cheap, I found myself laughing everytime I heard how bad NBC and its Local Affiliate News ratings were doing.

I shouldn't be so bitter at NBC though, because of their incompetence lots of their viewers went looking to Cable Networks like FX for quality alternatives. And because of that and more importantly because of some incredible writing and brilliant acting, I get to hang with SAMCRO for another season.

Now I can focus my hating on to the Golden Globes for snubbing SOA and Katey Sagal.

BallerinaToes said...

I actually like Jimmy Fallon and wish he was on at 10:30. Also, Friday Night Lights. Best drama they had other than Southland. And what to do they do? Give it to direct tv, with no news of when or if it will air on NBC. Idiots.

admiralmpj said...

But that's just it, isn't it? As good and as funny as this list is, they're not going to read it, or conduct any self-reflection like it. They're not sorry. They're probably up in their ivory advertising towers thinking "It ALMOST worked, if we only just..." (tack on whatever shitty thought occurs to them next).

We are told that this is a bottom line business, but it isn't. What's fascinating to me is that creatives are given barely a chance to fuck up. If so much as one hair is out of place, down comes the axe. But Suits screw up again and again and again, lose money not just hand over fist, but by the barrel, and they not only get second, third, fourth chances, they get golden parachutes when they leave.

Stretch said...

Ahhh, Boomtown. Watched it when it aired, downloaded it to watch again, bought the dvd set. Dusted off the set again to watch with new girlfriend and i had forgotten how good that first season was.

Sutter, you have yr finger on a pulse. Good observations.

Starbrite57 said...

I have been seeing that "featherless" peacock for quick some time now. I imagine it has wrinkled skin from watching the ratings sink. And, all day long squawks like a pig in pain because it kept telling itself what a fuck up it was. On to peacock rehab, what else is left.

therealzenobia said...

"The peacock has been brutally ass-raped and the feathers are broken, stained and may never be free of the stench of Ben Silverman’s reality juice."


RegRob said...

Ha! I love this! You may be a TV exec's nightmare...but you are the people's wet dream! As always you rock!

WyzWmn© said...

remember the good old days...when you sat down to a season premiere in the fall and watched all winter until the season finale just about the beginning of riding season?

the big guns have all gone to crap...they're rund by bean counters and bean counters don't take chances...that'd be why we have specialty networks - to bring us the good stuff...the stuff thatthat the bean counters won't take a chance on....

so? who's laughin outta the other side of their face now?...cos the good stuff has gone viral...

well spoke.

Lady Niko said...

I agree w/ you 99.9% of this. :)

I gave the Knight Rider remake a try and just when it seemed they were getting their act together with the redo of the redo, the plug was cut. (Three episodes into the refit and they decided to kill the show before the episodes even air? Talk about not giving the audience a chance to catch on. :-p)

The folks at NBC-Universal and their sister networks have truly had their heads rectally inverted for quite a few years and they keep putting most of the same personality type in charge - the egotistical, but clueless what the viewers really want, idiots.

3goldens said...

thankyoi for your absolute honesty on this post. Not sure where I hve ever read anything yite like it from anyone direclty innvolved with the entertainment industry. I appreciate people who stand up and speak the truth an who do so in an honest and intelligent manner.
To be perfectly honest I knew nothing about you or your shows before starting SOA season one a few days ago.
This was telly at the suggestion of a childhood chum Bob Theile. For some reason I resisted this for the longest time, no clue as to why. After a recent visit with him a month or so ago and meeting Katey at a rehearsal at a cool little
space I decided it was time. Now I wonder why it took so
long to get here. With nothing Even remotely watchable on the thousands of channels available to find this wonderful character driven drama was terrifically refreshing! Thanks for that.

Any way I found this blog while catching up on some of the backlinr and if this is the type of intelligent post one can expect here then I will surely be back to visit. Thanks again and I'm very happy to have had the opportunity to find and read your thoughts here. All the beat to you and Katey Kurt

ps. Give Battlestar Galatica a try! I noticed you did not mention that show an the writing there is astonishing!

John Hoving
New York City

Outsider said...

haha...takes brass clackers....but repentance isn't in their lexicon...and works about as well as asskissing anyway

doll6, aka the Queen of Hearts said...

Forgiveness my A$$, off with his head!!

also, i would've rather Kings NOT be on that list.

Michael Taylor said...

Great post. I've never understand why Zucker wasn't fired a long time ago. He's been the anti-Midas during his tenure with NBC: everything he touches turns to shit. Zucker reminds me of Al Davis, except that while Davis is now the pathetic dried-up husk of a once-brilliant man -- a guy who really did know how to create a winning organization with a "commitment to excellence" -- Zucker blew past his own Peter Principle level of incompetence at the very beginning of his career. I'm not sure that man has done anything well other than slime his way up the shit-stained ladder of corporate suck-cess.

This is by far the best thing I've read on the Leno/NBC/Conan debacle. Thanks for having the guts to call a spade a spade -- or in the case of Zucker, an evil clown.

PatD64 said...

O.K So I take it you're not looking for gainful employment with "The Peacock Network"?

Ricardo said...

WHAT?!? Kings was awesome!! A great genre show!

Schmoker said...

Have to say that I agree with everything you said, and that I appreciate the style with which you said it, but again someone I admire comes along and throws cold water on My Own Worst Enemy. Man, I feel like I am out in the cold in a LeCarre novel on that show. I thought it was funny and one of the best "metaphor" shows to come down the pike since Whedon's Universe got canceled.

Did you really watch and hate MOWE, Kurt, or are you lumping it in with all the rest because it was a ratings flameout?

rudz said...

Boomtown was awesome, very talented cast (many from Band of Brothers)....that show died waaaay too early

Debsa said...

"To Carson Daly:
Are you still on my network? Really? For that I am truly sorry."

Be nice to Carson, he had Charlie on for a nice interview...

Anonymous said...

what about Joey? Or Studio 60? those were highlights.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just realized that I haven't watched a Major network show in awhile. Seriously, I can't tell you when I've watched anything on ABC, CBS, NBC or FOX. Almost everything that I watch has been on one cable network or another. I will be watching the final season of Lost but I can't think of anything else on any of the Majors that I have any interest in seeing. SOA and Madmen have spoiled me when it comes to quality of writing, production and performances and then there are the guilty pleasures of USA series like Burn Notice and Royal Pains - Oh and, lest I forget, Nip/Tuck. I tried to watch a couple of things, like Fringe, V and the flash-forward (or whatever the name of it is) on ABC but just could not get into them, for whatever reasons. I can't believe how bad all of the programming on all of the major networks, not just NBC, has actually gotten. Thanks for your honest blog. It's really refreshing that someone in the biz is willing to speak the truth about the biz. Maybe, with people like you, things will actually get better.

Bonnie said...

I also thought Kings was good...just sayin

darlin said...

Don't think the peacock is gonna make the transformation to pheonix.

Fuckin awesome:
Johnny Carson put me and my scotch-damp mother to bed every night. Its shows made me want to be a writer… and a drinker. I want nothing more than for the network to rise up from the asses, once again a beautiful bird filled with wonder, intrigue and amusement.

well-written Sutter.


Anonymous said...

Hilarious! I'm not a huge fan of Leno but I've met him and he's a really nice guy. Conan is really getting screwed here though. NBC sucks!

zzzdog said...

Excellent - love the tone and the truth.

I'm still bitter about Boomtown.

I'll be watching Southland tomorrow night.

Tome said...

You didn't like Kings? They bounced it around like a battered wife, but it still burned bright till the end.

Patti said...

As always I truly enjoy reading your blog. I would love to read what 12 steps you could write for NBC to do. LOL

AA bullshit? Hmmmmm. JMO~ those who can do... those who cant... JUDGE those who can. :-)

WI_Debi said...

I liked Studio 60 not for it's great writing but mostly because I enjoy the wit and rapport of Bradley Whitford and Matthew Perry. I wish they could both find a good venue for their talent. The two of them together on West Wing was excellent. I think West Wing was the last great show (IMO) that was on NBC.

susanshearer said...

You never fail to delight with your unique twist on life. That would make my day if Zucker read your manifesto – sounds perfect for Saturday Night Live to me.

Mikonos said...

What you say is largely accurate but the media business is tough and there is a lot of luck in programming choices and who is on top or on bottom. Same true for other fast moving fickle businesses like of the world with the RAZR several years ago now bottom of the shit heap.

Bigger issue is that broadcast television and the late night talk show format are dying business models. Younger generations much more tech savvy and the big media brands are meaningless. Talk shows are evolving to Colbert and Daily show, faced paced, energetic formats.

I'm 47 so no youngster, started watching SOA because I saw a guy with a hoodie on with the name on it and was a club I had never heard of. Googled it. This happened two episodes into season 2 so I bought Season one on Itunes, watched it, and bought season 2. Watch it on my laptop and my Iphone (sometimes...when I drive home late and the streets are deserted). When I'm home I plug the Iphone into the TV. That way I don't need to fast forward commercials on the Tivo.

GE was smart, they saw the writing on the wall and merged into JV with Comcast, which arguably has a better business model. Pipes for distributing content will be around for awhile. Zucker may actually do well at managing that side of the business. Time will tell.


Geoff said...

Boomtown still makes me bitter, bitter bitter...I vowed to never watch any new NBC drama after that, and only "Chuck" has been able to break through that vow. That blot of how they treated Boomtown must never EVER leave Zucka the Sucka's resume...

therealzenobia said...

"went a little Penn on one of the photographers at the tca schmooze tonight." Awesome! Are there pictures?!

Kings: I worship McShane. He deserved better than a Dynasty remake. Note to your colleagues: Referencing the Bible doesn't make it literature.

Indianacat said...

Very well written, Mr. Sutter! Unfortunately, the person who would most benefit from it will not deign to look down from his lofty peacock feathered throne atop the GE building to read it, much less perform any of it.

As a former broadcast journalist, I was not surprised that the local late night newsers were blaming lame Leno lead in for declining ratings.

Why should they bother to look to their own house to see what stinks? It's much easier to point fingers at the lead in than it is to look at what they're doing wrong, or not doing at all.

"Hey, our ratings went down when Leno became our lead. It's Leno's fault!" It would NEVER occur to these idiots that something about their newscast might be making viewers jump ship faster than fleas fleeing from a flea bomb!

(Ok, enough of these tongue twisters. My eyes hurt!)

There's no doubt that local news is competitive when you have more than one source in a given area (LA, Chicago, Indianapolis, etc., etc., etc.,). Ratings equals money. What tends to grate on my nerves is after a really big story breaks, the publicity department goes into overdrive, clogging the airwaves with self congratulatory proclamations 'We had it first! We had the most reporters on the story! We hit the air with the first inkling of the event!"


The odor lingers with us, the viewer. When we favor the LIVE! LOCAL! LATEBREAKING! FIRST! with our viewership, we are telling them that the sleaze and bleeds are OK with us, so they keep doing more of the same ol' same old. Then, when the ratings go down because someone has found something better than the late night newscast (like reading a book, spending time with the family with the 'vast wasteland' turned OFF, watching something of quality on another non local network), they don't have to be introspective, but go whining to the network to cry about the network programming.

Frankly, I liked 'My Own Worst Enemy'. I liked 'The Book of Daniel', 'Moonlight', 'Southland'. Good stuff that has fallen by the wayside.

Thank God for cable, where shows get more than two weeks to snare an audience.

In the long run, yes, Leno's attempt at early evening humor didn't work well. It was like an early version of the Tonight Show. However, the fault, dear Brutus, is not entirely NBC's or Leno's, nor even the local affiliates whine party.

The fault, dear Brutus, lies with us as well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the comment concerning Boomtown - Why haven't they released the 6 episodes of the second season?

Only seen a few kings so can't comment - but what i saw, was alright.

The days of drama being on the verge of cancellation every year, but the network persisting with them are long gone. Hill Street Blues? Homicide: Life on the Street? wouldn't have lasted a season probably if they were on now (well they might have lasted for ages on a cable channel, but that's by the by).

Another show that didn't get time to develop was Studio 60. Still feel they could have done more.

But, it seems that network ratings as a whole aren't what they used to be, and not as relevant as they used to be - Heroes has had viewing figures dip over the past season, but its the most pirated show in the world (according to something I read). David Simon said it best - appointment TV is dead in this country, and maybe, just maybe NBC should figure out away to get their ad revenues whilst not sticking to a set time for a show to go out, and give the control to the viewer.

Craig, UK.

tonilost said...

Conan's statement just released today-
People of Earth:

In the last few days, I've been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I've been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I've been absurdly lucky. That said, I've been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn't the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn't matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it's always been that way.



Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what you said, except for the part about 'Kings' being a bad show. I think that show was brilliant and getting better as the weeks went on, but the audience was far too dumb to appreciate it. It also didn't help that NBC made stupid mistakes about what time slot they showed it in.

MotionPictureWhore said...

Wow...I'm right with you! A trained (or un-trained) monkey could have seen that NBC was making some stupid decisions and that they were going to be steeped in fail.

Conan is great and while I personally like Leno, his comedy isn't exactly the kind I like. The decision to move the whole line-up all around made me say, "This is a dumb idea" right from the get-go.

Eric said...

Kings was a great show with a great plot and good character development. I agree with everything else you have to say and find it hilarious.

jimmyHump said...

I think you hit the nail on the head with your assessment of Jay and Conan. As much as I am a fan of Conan's, I think he was tied to his later timeslot; therefore making it a mistake to fulfill the promise of giving him the Tonight Show. I guess I'm saying that by honoring their promise to Conan, the slimy suits made perhaps their biggest mistake. Wow, it's almost like saying its best for a snake to be a snake and do what's in its nature. More are hurt if he spares the mouse his fangs.

Meg said...

Haven't posted here before but I like that there's a little balance towards Jay. Unless he's a bit more strategic than he appears, he's basically going along with what the decision makers are telling him. "You need to retire in 5 years cos we can't lose conan"; "shit, you're still rating well.....hmmm we'll find you another job please don't leave us"......and now the NBC decision makers get a pass while critics, bloggers, anyone with an internet connection is making out like Jay is frog marching Conan out of the building. Maybe Jay should just bow out but he seems to be such a workaholic it might be hard for him (even with all those millions to keep him company).

SP in PHX said...

So is it safe to say you have a picture of Zucker on the bottom of your toilet seat?

Conan: Good riddens!

J.B. said...

I've only watched Carson Daly's show once, when Charlie was on talking about YOUR show. Carson kept saying what a fan he was--of Charlie and the show. Although you may not watch his show, don't like it either obviously, your comment was cruel.
I haven't seen Ron, Katey or Charlie on Leno or Letterman. Carson gave Charlie some time. Maybe you should take another look at that gratitude list of yours. Three people I work with started watching soa because they saw Charlie on Carson one night.
Why don't you think about how maybe your words effect some people sometimes. What did Carson ever do to you but give Charlie and your show a little press?

Mike P said...

For me NBC died when they pulled Aaron Sorkin off of West Wing. It destroyed a show that was not only compelling, but also inspiring. Then they wrapped the show up with one of the worst final seasons ever. Season Seven of The West Wing made it clear that the top brass at NBC did not respect loyal viewers.

Aaliyah said...

Nice rant. It was funny and informative. You definitely hit the hammer to the nail. Thanks for the laugh.

Keara said...

Screw NBC. SONS OF ANARCHY on FX, bitches! It's people like you that remind me there are still badasses in the television business.

Mike said...

Hey, I liked Kings. Of course, I also liked the XFL, so maybe I shouldn't be talking.

Ali said...

Well said, sir! Perhaps I'm just a bad person, but I'm so enjoying seeing NBC suffer after what it did to my beloved Southland.

Ah, Boomtown. That wound is still fresh.

I'm with the people who enjoyed Kings, but I thought it was a good mini-series idea that they tried to stretch into a show. But I'd watch the Carson Daly show if Ian McShane was on it, so, yeah. At least I have my Deadwood DVDs to keep me warm at night.

Anonymous said...

Add Brian Williams / Al Gore and their newscast to the amends list.

lanskyspe said...

LOL @ Carson Daly. Kurt, sign him for one ep of SOA next season and have him run over by a truck. Your fans would LOVE it.

round guy said...

Hey, the XFL rocked, but other than that you're on the money.
I also can't forgive those bastards for canceling Life (after first shitting all over it).
NBC is an embarrassment at this point. I suppose it's possible they can recover but I certainly don't see how.

Sabrina said...

I may be on my own here...but I really liked the show "Life" with Damian Lewis and added bonus "Sons" badman Adam Arkin.

Please continue to tell it like it is...maybe they will get the message one day.

Valerie said...

I do not do blogs or Twitter, but I am as addicted to both as I am to the show. Love the show for so many reasons, but mostly because as a bad-ass woman in her 50s who still has "lots of tread on her tires" ( a quote a friend uses often), I love Gemma and all of her multi-facets; especially admire the story-line regarding her menopausal symptoms. Hot flashes certainly make me want to whack some young chick with a skateboard. And to Katey...thank you so much for not screwing up your face so that you look either like you have been trapped in a wind tunnel or are The Joker's older sister. It is so nice to see a major actress aging gracefully and sexually. It must have something to do with that hot husband.
My one negative comment - and it has bugged me both seasons - Clay's fingernails are too clean, and his hands are too pretty to have ever touched an engine. As the daughter of a mechanical engineer - no matter how much time passes - a mechanic's hands never look that good. Just a stupid little thing in otherwise near perfection. Cannot wait for the new season. Thank you so much for all of this great entertainment and commentary.

Outsider said...

So funny....this dude in my neighborhood who is now a frazzled looking, but interesting artist....worked for Jeff Zucker for 10 years.....maybe even saved his life from a flying piece off a telephone pole hit by a
driver.....he laughed his ass off when he read
your post after I pointed it out to him

HannahMarieH said...

Can I just say.. I adore you! I love your uninhibited, bare-faced honesty! Its truly respectable! Also I am so excited to see what the future of your career is going to bring to us viewers (And I am utterly stoked for the next season of SOA! The anticipation may be the death of me! :D) Keep up the top notch work!!

Coloradoraider said...

Hey now, Kings had its moments! Not many, but it had them!

Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of what you've written here, but I disagree with the Leno apology. I think NBC should apologise for giving him the Tonight Show in the first place. For 2 reasons:
1) It inspired one of the funniest stand ups of his generation to turn his back on comedy completely.
2) It taught an entire generation to be content with lazy jokes (why yes punchline, I can see you coming from all those miles away..) and mediocrity, to turn away from creativity at every opportunity.

NBC don't care about intelligence, passion, loyalty, creativity or young people. So why should we care about them? I wont be watching anymore.

Anonymous said...

great read. I would love to follow you on twitter.

Anonymous said...

Kings? Seriously? Did it make you feel too chick? Was it too emotional for you? Sad.

Zucker is an easy target. Get some edge, gameboy.