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Jan. 8 2010 - 12:32 am | 392 views | 1 recommendation | 2 comments

Jay Leno is New Coke

What do New Coke and the Jay Leno Show have in common? In each case, people tried it and they didn’t like it. Why? Because it sucked.

The only thing good about the epic fail of New Coke and The Jay Leno Show is the schaddenfreude of watching corporate wisdom fall flat on its face. No, not even Jerry Seinfeld or Bill Cosby, two esteemed NBC products for a time, could convince people the new version was better than the old.

While Coke ditched the brave new world, and invented “Classic” status to re-re-brand the drink, it remains to be seen what NBC will do now that Conan O’Brien has proven himself a more valuable commodity than the fast fading Leno. They can’t keep in Leno in the disastrous 10 p.m. slot, and they shouldn’t just plop this aging batman back in the old bat suit at the same bat time. All in all, a mammoth screw-up.


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  1. collapse expand

    You are right, the new prime-time Leno show sucks. I liked it better when he was the Tonight Show, although I never found it funny enough to stay up to watch.

    People get used to something, learn to love it, and then when the marketers try to tell us it will be better when done a new, different way, it flops. This is probably one of the reasons why alot of movie remakes of beloved classics flop. I can think of one example off the top of my head: the British comedy Death at a Funeral was hysterical, and seeing the trailer for the Americanized version, it looks atrocious. Makes me sad…

    But I digress. While I think it would be stupid for NBC to pull the plug on O’Brien and put Leno back in the late slot, it was a disaster to try it this way to begin with. Maybe the people in charge should have thought a little more before making this decision…

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    I've published two novels: The Secrets of the Camera Obscura (Chronicle Books), and The Third Eye (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday). I'm currently working as a journalist for AOL's Sphere. For the past three years I also spouted political opinion for AOL's Political Machine, which I also helped edit. My non-fiction has appeared in places like Men's Vogue, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, USA Today, Newsday, Travel + Leisure, GQ (Spain), and Vanity Fair (Italy). I've dabbled with short stories, publishing in Nerve and a few small journals.

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