I've been watching since I was able. I planned my first trip to New York City around when I could attend a Late Night taping. It will not surprise you to learn I've been pretty bummed this past week.
Conan signed the agreement to move to The Tonight Show right around the time I started being a professional scientist. 2009 seemed like a long time to wait until I could watch him live without being exhausted the next day. The transition finally came, and it was glorious -- and now all this.
Growing up, my house always watched channel 3, the NBC affiliate's local news. I do not know why. But if the clock struck 9:59 and we were tuned elsewhere, we made a point to get up, MANUALLY turn the channel to NBC, and watch their news. So this current situation with Conan makes no sense to me.
I can't fathom is how this disaster is related to lead-in audiences. The television principal of a lead-in audience states that you need to keep your viewers engaged so that they won't turn the channel, even after their program is over. Ratings go down during Leno's prime time show, so ratings go down for local affiliates' late news broadcasts.
As usual, I'm left to wonder who the fuck I'm sharing these United States with. When I watched "The Office" and "30 Rock" in the past, I NEVER ONCE stuck around to see what John Stamos was doing on "ER", no matter how many "ER" ads NBC snuck into my programs of interest. This is because digital cable tells you exactly what is on every channel, and because every television manufactured since 1990 comes with a remote control, and because I come with A FUCKING BRAIN IN MY HEAD.
Do I share an America with people that have no interest in finding the show that most matches their interest? Does everyone really just leave the TV set on and hope something good shows up? "Well, I've never seen it before, and I'm not really one for crime procedurals, but I'm gonna give 'The Mentalist' a shot. I'd hate to spend 30 seconds to find something better by using this remote control in my hand."
And let me ask you this, local affiliates? How good are your newscasts? Are you cool?
How LAME IS YOUR SHIT that you have to count on the lead-in show for anyone to tune in? Your broadcasts are the weakest, most stale wastes of broadcast airtime in existence. You never break important stories. YOU SPEND TEN MINUTES DISCUSSING THE WEATHER WHEN YOU COULD DO IT IN TWO MINUTES. Your sports beat has been rendered useless by ESPN. Your EVERYTHING has been rendered useless by the internet.
Listen: I am not a journalist. I could be way off base. But maybe, instead of complaining about the low numbers Leno pulls in, you could THINK OF INNOVATIVE IDEAS TO ATTRACT A DEDICATED AUDIENCE.
Ugh. You are all the worst. Everyone is the worst.
Conan, I miss you already and I hope I see you soon.