Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Reader mail: Jay vs. Conan, 'Homicide' reruns and more

Another week, another reader mailbag, this one dealing once again with the ongoing blood feud between the Conan O'Brien fans and the Jay Leno fans. (Well, mostly from the Jay Leno fans.)

24 comments:

Adam said...

Are there people who've never read THE LATE SHIFT? That's a shame. My copy is well-thumbed at this point, and it remains just extraordinary reporting.

[Also, boo on Comcast: no WGN for H:LOTS reruns on my digital package.]

Danny said...

Speaking of The Late Shift, I just read Carter's new book called Desperate Networks-- a similar inside account of the warring big four broadcast networks and how a bunch of the hit shows from the last few years actually made it on the air (but almost didn't). Really fascinating stuff that you'd probably like, Alan.

Jake said...

CONAN threw a temper tantrum? As opposed to the guy who not only undercut Letterman and Carson but decided to not go gently into that good light and demanded another show? Some people baffle me.

Ostiose Vagrant said...

If they were letters to me which they were not. Obviously.

To the people who complain about the maturity level of Conan's show: why are you people staying up so late? If you need something to get ready for bed then may I suggest taping 60 minutes and watching that instead. They still have those crazy kids on there like Morley Safer and Andy Rooney.

Robert said...

Giving the rather pronounced trend of Conan's ratings from day one till now, I suspect that pretty soon he's going to be sending hookers by Hugh Grant's house and hoping for lightning to strike twice.

Dizzee said...

NOt sure where I can ask this, but since this is comments on readers questions, I'll ask here.

Jeff - are you done with "In plain sight" or taking an early summer hiatus?

Evie Garland said...

Is there anyone who likes Conan AND Jay? (I, for one, adore the former and abhor the latter.) I'm beginning to think the Conan likers and the Jay likers are as divided as Republicans and Democrats! And speaking of which, let me take this opportunity to tell you just what I think of President Obama...just kidding!

Anonymous said...

Sure Evie, many people watch and enjoy both Jay and Conan. Millions of people. But if you like both then there's little reason to send an email to a TV critic to tell him so, or post such a comment on his blog.

Anonymous said...

BBC America is airing the specials of Doctor Who? Oh, man, I don't have that. Will sci-fi be airing them at all or do they no longer have the rights?

-Don

LA said...

"(Johnny on his worst day was a better interviewer than Jay or Conan are on their best days.)"

But the worst interviewer in current television is Ellen DeGeneres.

Team Conan.

Nicole said...

I was watching Howard Stern on Letterman and he ranted a lot about Leno on the show. He didn't seem much of a Conan fan either, but that was probably more to support Dave.

I read the Late Shift ages ago, and if the hiding in a closet to overhear a meeting is true, then I think Leno wins hands down in the "who is more childish" contest.

For those who need a Tennant fix, he is also appear in the new series of the Sarah Jane Adventures, but don't ask me where that airs in the US. His Hamlet (with Patrick Stewart as Claudius) has also been filmed and will be airing on the BBC. Perhaps a network over here can be convinced to air it at some point, as it received rave reviews.

Eldritch said...

I'm startled by the heat of the debate. I guess I'm revealing my nature as an outsider here, but I've never cared for either Leno or O'Brien.

I enjoyed Carson's show. Under his hosting, the show seemed more about the guests. It was a chance to see a favorite star as him/herself rather than the character he/she played. Now, on the occasions I tune in, guests just seem to be performing. If I want a performance, I can catch their shows.

The shows don't seem about the guests anymore. They're about the hosts.

Brent said...

There are people who actually like Jay Leno? Wow.

maura said...

I've never understood the various combinations or the vehemence of the O'Brien/Leno/Letterman fan wars. So many people take it all so personally, and it just seems silly.

Of the three of them, Conan is the only one who consistently makes me laugh, and he makes me laugh so hard my back hurts. I would say he's not so much childish as he is goofy.

Letterman's supposed hipness has always been lost on me, and over the years he's become so much like Leno, I don't see much difference between the two. I don't think they suck. They just don't appeal to me. Neither one can compel me to watch them for an hour every night. Give me Conan and Craig Ferguson any time.

I thought it was Letterman who threw a tantrum and sulked like a baby when he didn't get The Tonight Show 17 years ago.

Pamela Jaye said...

Is Homocide the show that had that guy trapped beside a subway car (never saw it) and if so, what was the ep called?

I've never seen Homocide, but every now and then someone mentions that ep as an ep that was kind enough to have commercials....

sanders268 said...

Pamela Jaye: the Homicide episode is called "Subway" and it aired during Season 6.

Ellie said...

Yes, Pamela Jaye, that's the show. The ep is called--wait for it--The Subway. Vincent D'Onofrio (sp?) is the trapped guy. Very intense. I shudder at the memory of watching the first time.

Pamela Jaye said...

thanks sanders and Ellie
:-)
I've dredged my DVR but apparently, though I do get WGN, Homocide is not on my schedule anywhere.
darn.
I don't know if I could watch it, myself (really, someone said that the commercials were great - gave you a chance to actually breathe - the first time I ever heard it mentioned) but I'm somewhat curious (in that way I always regrat later, when I wake up at 3am...)

I put a persistent search for it in the DVR. maybe it will turn up someday.

fgmerchant said...

Alan, did you ever watch the third series of Skins? It was a huge step up over the second series (which left me depressed to no end) and rivaled the quality of the first series (which mostly had nostalgia putting it ahead of the third series, but not much else). Plus, Kaya Scodelario (sp?) is just amazingly beautiful!

James said...

3rd season of Skins hasn't aired in the US yet.

I, however, found it to be a massive disappointment. Way too much time spent on unappealing characters (namely Cook/Freddie/Effy) while basically ignoring their more interesting ones (Thomas/Emily/Naomi).

fgmerchant said...

I would have liked to see more of Naomi, but she was always on the outskirts of the group. I never understood how Thomas went from being a Janitor to just being a student without any explanation. I would have like to see more of Pandora as well, she was always so funny. I hope we will get more of them in the next series.

Anonymous said...

I just bought A copy of The Late Shift on Amazon for $1.00.

Mark B said...

I thought it was Letterman who threw a tantrum and sulked like a baby when he didn't get The Tonight Show 17 years ago.

While no one ever promised Dave that he'd get the Tonight Show, he believed that through his body of work over the previous years, as a guest host and then as host of his own show, that he'd be the obvious choice. He thought he earned the top job, and he wasn't wrong to feel a bit slighted. I don't it makes him a baby because he didn't want to spend his career as a 12:30am guy.



NBC wanted to keep both Jay and Dave at the network. At the time, I thought they'd have put Dave at 11:30 and had Jay take over on Late Night. (But back then, before The Late Shift, I hadn't considered that Helen Kushnick would probably have taken Jay to CBS for an 11:30 show. So NBC would have lost one of them regardless.)

maura said...

He thought he earned the top job, and he wasn't wrong to feel a bit slighted. I don't it makes him a baby because he didn't want to spend his career as a 12:30am guy.

I don't blame him for feeling slighted either. But I've heard more than once than he did throw tantrums etc. when he didn't get the job.

This is what happens when rumors are started. They never really go away.