A CNBC interview with NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker was primarily about the Comcast deal to acquire control of NBCU, but Joe Kernan couldn’t resist asking his boss one question: Will he stick with Jay Leno in the 10 pm hour on NBC? Zucker stood by that programming decision…sort of.
“I think we have to give time for these things to play out. Right now, in terms of its performance on the television network, at NBC, in terms of ratings it’s doing exactly what we thought it would do. I think in terms of what it’s done to local stations and the affiliates, obviously it’s had a greater impact there. Ya’ know, that’s obviously something that we’re assessing and we have to look at,” Zucker answered.
RBR-TVBR observation: It’s not like NBC has a backlog of potential hit dramas to drop into its schedule. We don’t see much likelihood that Leno will get less than a full year run in primetime. But if there’s not significant improvement, the affiliates aren’t going to stand still for a second season.