The major broadcast networks made their presentations at the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour this week. Among the highlights:
– NBC announced Conan O’ Brien’s final night on Late Night will be on Feb. 20, just three months before he is scheduled to take over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno in Los Angeles. Replacing him is Jimmy Fallon, who takes over March 2.
O’Brien took over Late Night on September 13, 1993 after previous host David Letterman jumped over to CBS.
– NBC (mercifully) has cut the episode orders for bombs Knight Rider and Kath & Kim, but has not made a decision on Lipstick Jungle.
– The net also says it won’t cut back on pilots, despite the fact it is handing five hours a week to Jay Leno to program at 9 p.m.
– The network wants more comedies in the vain of Roseanne and Home Improvement, which were past hits for the network in the 1990’s. That and more was on the mind of ABC Entertainment honcho Steve McPherson on Friday as he spoke with the press. Among the items he talked about: The possible end of According to Jim. “‘Jim’ has been an amazing asset for us.”, says McPherson. Yeah, an amazing piece of crap.
– CBS Entertainment honcho Nina Tassler says summer series Swingtown won’t be back – ever – while she says network television “is still kicking”, but kicking “a bit differently.” Given how network television has pulled in viewers last Sunday and Tuesday nights, she might have a point.
– CBS is shooting a variety-show pilot with John Mayer, the network confirmed. Hopefully, it won’t be the mess Rosie Dead was.