Jerry Seinfeld has finally broken his legendary silence and weighed in on the Leno/O’Brien situation. From the Hollywood Reporter:
What did the network do to him? I don’t think anyone’s preventing people from watching Conan. Once they give you the cameras, it’s on you. I can’t blame NBC for having to move things around. I hope Conan stays, I think he’s terrific. But there’s no rules in show business, there’s no refs.
First of all, shut up, Jerry Seinfeld. You should stop weighing in on things that literally have NOTHING to do with you, and spend some of your copious amounts of wealthy free time trying to figure out a way to explain what your new TV show is, since apparently that’s the next great mystery facing mankind. Everyone is on the edge of their seat wondering if it will ever be possible for a human being to explain a shitty reality show-game show hybrid about marriage. But also, you should shut up for a more important reason, and not just because who asked you.
You should shut up because:
your own historically successful TV show didn’t gain actual popularity until its fourth season and was almost canceled numerous times, but held on long enough because a) NBC decided to give it a chance to develop an audience and b) you had fucking CHEERS as a lead-in.
I know that Wikipedia is not the coolest source for FACTS, but this is just the most concise description of what was going on back then:
[Seinfeld] premiered as The Seinfeld Chronicles on July 5, 1989. After it aired, a pickup by NBC did not seem likely and the show was actually offered to Fox, which declined to pick it up. However, Rick Ludwin, head of late night and special events for NBC, diverted money from his budget, and the next four episodes were filmed. These episodes were highly-rated as they followed Cheers on Thursdays at 9:30 p.m., and the series was finally picked up.
The show was actually offered to FOX, which declined to pick it up. I’m just saying that the argument that it is entirely up to the entertainer to make people want to watch them is almost entirely false, especially when you are dealing with audiences on this scale. It is up to the network to give the entertainer the space and time for audiences to actually find them, and one of the ways in which they can do that is by offering the entertainer a successful and appropriate lead-in that carries momentum to their show rather than draining it by being a half-hearted bullshit rip-off of the same thing. It would be like saying Seinfeld had nothing to complain about during those troubled early years if his lead-in had been…well, The Jay Leno Show.
Ugh, Seinfeld. Go make Bee Movie 2, you jerk. Just kidding. Please don’t make Bee Movie 2.
P.S. Speaking of comedians weighing in on this when they don’t have to, but in this case it’s kind of interesting, here is Patton Oswalt’s take on the situation. And then let’s be done with Leno/O’Brien for the rest of the day/week/month/year/decade.