Few things are as difficult for a new TV show to hold as the competitive 10 p.m. slot on weeknights. With the increasingly large selection of programs available, even the most experienced of talk show hosts struggles to maintain an audience. Less than three months have gone by since “The Jay Leno Show” first appeared on NBC, and the household ratings have been dropping.
Raised in Andover, Massachusetts, Jay Leno was considered the long reigning king of prime-time with “The Tonight Show.” That is until September, 2009, when Leno was replaced by fellow comedian and host Conan O’Brien. Shortly after the transition, Leno began hosting “The Jay Leno Show” at 10 p.m.
In an attempt to boost his ratings with the younger audience, Leno has been featuring offbeat and eccentric comedians. Thirteen “correspondents” have appeared since the show’s conception, each with his or her own unconventional brand of comedy.
In regards to this new approach, Leno said, “When we were doing ‘The Tonight Show,’ we had the traditional stand-up, where people come out and sell their jokes. Nowadays, you don’t hold the audience as much without a visual. We set out to find people with a show-and-tell element, who bring video and music into it.”
Despite the worries that producers might have about lower ratings, “The Jay Leno Show” and its host continue to seek out fresh ways to attract new and younger viewers. Only time will tell if this new venture proves successful.
Watch Leno describe his early stand-up days in Massachusetts: