The DVR has two tuners. Tonight, I recorded Letterman and Leno simultaneously.
The truth is, I wanted Leno to suck because I’d like to see the writers prevail against the producers. I’m not going to lie. Over the long run, what they get will help a lot of others… maybe someday me.
Letterman first. You’ve read by now, he’s bearded.
Because of a deal his production company cut with the writers, he was back with a full crew. It is a strategic move on the part of the writers to put NBC at a competitive disadvantage. Leno has no such waiver.
The show was fresh. Robin Williams was manic. The prepared bits weren’t anything special, but the show has been allowed to catch its breath and was very enjoyable.
There was more than one gratuitous nod to the Writers Guild, including the top-10 list. Alan Zweibel and Nora Ephron were among the ten writers presenting.
The writers continue to win the PR war versus the producers. So far, it’s a Pyrrhic victory.
Leno also came back fresh. I was surprised and disappointed the monologue and a taped bit were pre-written. The Guild had hoped there would be no written material. There will be cries of “scab” tomorrow.
I understand Jay’s in a tough position. On one hand, his writers are striking. On the other, his mortal opponent, David Letterman, has a full staff.
Should he risk a fatal blow to his show in order to morally support the writers?
Leno claimed to have written the monologue and other material himself. I can’t imagine how that’s true.
The big guest was Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate. Huckabee is very at ease on TV and came across warm and approachable. He played bass guitar as they came out of commercial.
People applauded the intricate guitar lead, but that wasn’t Huckabee’s part. It made no difference. A ‘guy off the street’ jumping in with that band is still impressive.
Jay’s show was entertaining, for Jay’s show. I suspect tomorrow’s ratings will show writers to be overvalued and Leno outranking Letterman. The real effect won’t be seen until later in the week… or maybe next.
The producer’s great strength in this fight is, they’re a faceless monolith who sell no product directly to consumers. In essence, they’re anonymous.