Jay Leno met face to face with NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt on March 21st, following an angry late night tweet the exec sent Leno regarding his bashing of the network on air.
According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, Greenblatt’s email resulted in a war of words (electronically, anyway) between himself and Leno. It seems right after that the rumors started flying about Jay leaving The Tonight Show when his contract is up in 2014.
The last time late night TV has seen this kind of media frenzy was the last time NBC tried removing Leno from The Tonight Show and replacing him with Conan O’Brien. Can’t they look back and see where that got them? Quite frankly, many people (even high ranking executives at other networks) don’t really get why NBC is doing it. Leno and The Tonight Show sit at the very top of the late night talk show food chain. Why aren’t they simply leaving well enough alone? Late night talk show hosts have bashed their networks in a joking manner for decades. Why all of a sudden is NBC taking Leno’s barbs so seriously?
The face to face chat (it was actually dinner–how much eating do you suppose the two gentlemen really did?) with Robert Greenblatt didn’t result in Jay letting up on the NBC jabs either. In fact for an entire week following the meeting, he dissed NBC at a rampant rate in typical Leno-esque style.
How do you suppose this all will end? Jimmy Fallon reached out to Jay following word of him being The Tonight Show replacement in 2014. It doesn’t appear as though Jay holds any animosity toward Fallon. The FOX network seems ready to swoop in and put Jay anywhere he wants to be–within reason, of course. So what will eventually happen?
Is Jay Leno simply calling the network’s bluff? Does he plan to retire in 2014 anyway–of his own volition? Might he be simply sitting by, watching and waiting, while NBC–which incidentally is having a few problems (in case you hadn’t heard) with The TODAY Show and the whole Matt Lauer and Ann Curry debacle, too–implodes?
Maybe then he’ll simply hop on one of his many vintage motorcycles, toss a helmet to wife Mavis, and ride off into the proverbial sunset–knowing the last laugh wasn’t at his expense!
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