Someone call for a crash cart!

Yep, you heard that right, The new word is that TNT (the cable network that rescued the NBC-axed superb cop drama, Southland from sudden death), just might be able to come to the rescue for Law & Order (which has admittedly grown long in the tooth). The story that is floating around now is that Dick Wolf is attempting to broker a last-minute deal to bring the series into a record-breaking 21st season.

…Wolf described the “Law & Order” flagship as “in a medically induced coma, waiting for a life-saving medicine.”

We can only hope that it works.

The Perfessor

Much ado about hardly anything

So, after all is said and done, and all the noise is blasted across the airwaves, it turns out that NBC might have simply been rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Leno’s vaunted return to the Tonight Show are actual lower (yes lower) than Conan’s opening night some six months earlier…

NBC’s “Tonight Show” returned Monday evening to a solid if unspectacular rating that exceeded Leno’s comparable “Tonight” average from last year, yet underperformed Conan O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” debut from last June.

“Tonight” drew 6.6 million viewers and a 1.6 adults 18-49. That’s down 58% from Conan O’Brien’s first night as the new “Tonight” host — which was out of season, and without an Olympic run-up.

Seriously, where is Dick Cavet when you need him?

The Perfessor

Talk TV — perhaps not the best idea ever…

So we’re about two weeks into the Leno-Prime Time experiment and, well, it appears that the brain trust that decided that putting a talk show five nights a week in prime time at 10:00 P.M. might not have thought it all the way through, because, well, there is something of a ripple effect that is going on here.

It is not just a question of how the new “Jay Leno Show” itself is faring in the ratings, but also what the show’s occupation of the 10 p.m. hour on NBC means to the network as a whole.

As Shari Anne Brill, the senior vice president and director of program analysis for the advertising agency Carat, put it, “It’s really looking like dominoes.”

nbcleno_650The dominoes in question are the other parts of NBC’s schedule affected by the network’s decision to relocate its late-night star, Mr. Leno, to prime time. Even though, as NBC executives point out, it is early in this experiment, signs of potential collateral damage have already emerged.

Shows seem to have suffered because they have been displaced to new time periods, like “Law & Order SVU,” which was the leading drama when it played at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, but now is finishing last after moving to 9 on Wednesdays.

Plus, the effect goes later as well. Apparently there is a drop-off in viewership around the 10:30 mark, leading to lower viewer numbers watching the 11:00 news, meaning less people watching The Tonight Show, and even less watching…well, whatever follows Conan.

Don’t believe me? well then read this.

To which I have to say…Brilliant, effin, brilliant!

The Perfessor