Late Night Held Hostage – Day… um is it 11 or 12?

A lot of wacky stuff has been going on Late Night Land – too wacky, in fact. In the last few days, we saw Leno caught in a lie, Kimmel slam Leno – on his show no less, an NBC exec rips into Conan O’Brien, and even a protest taking place outside of WMAQ-TV’s studios in support of “CoCo”:  – the first since Rev. Michael Pflager and community groups marched outside the station in 1998 in protest of Jerry Springer’s talk show..

In fact, you can say the principals involved in this fight could resolve their differences on Springer

Here is the latest:

– NBC is in final stages of offering a severance package to Conan O’Brien worth $40 million dollars for him to leave The Tonight Show, which Jay Leno now will assume on March 1, if all goes according to plan. O’Brien final NBC show will be on Friday.

– But the weekend did not slow down the news coming out of the Leno and O’Brien camps: NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol ripped into Mr. O’Brien, calling him “an astounding failure”. O’Brien’s staff fired right back: “A 62-year old sports producer giving us advice?” Ebersol tore into David Letterman as well… and here’s his response. 

(Ebersol should talk about failure… this is the genius who helped put the XFL on the air…)

– Meanwhile, the barbs between Leno and Conan (and NBC) were intensified last week with both sides taking shots at each other during their monologues. Not even David Letterman was spared.

– Of course, we have the numerous articles writing the obituaries of NBC here, here, and here.

– And what about this rather impressive takedown of Leno from Kansas City Star TV Critic Aaron Barnhart? This clip from 2004 showed Leno more than willing to step aside for Conan O’Brien.

– And to top it all off, fans of Conan O’Brien staged a protest outside WMAQ in Chicago today, as other cities across the country.

Yours truly will write a Think Tank on all this – and more – within the next week, so stay tuned…

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