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Conan, Jay

Forget the Idea Was Mine

1/17/2010 9:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

The man who trashed NBC in the NY Times for the whole Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien fiasco actually helped hatch the whole thing in the first place ... according to an email obtained by TMZ.

Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno
Former TV exec Fred Silverman was quoted this weekend saying the "Tonight Show" shakeup was "a corporate embarrassment" and that moving Leno back to 11:35 PM was a "Mickey Mouse scheme."

But TMZ has obtained an email sent by Silverman in 2008 to two top NBC execs in which Fred seemingly concocts the entire plan of moving Jay to 10:00 PM. He pitches the idea as, "Here's a way to solve your Jay Leno problem, improve your primetime ratings, save untold development costs and make a gazillion dollars at the same time." Did any of those things actually happen?

For all you TV newbies -- Fred Silverman is the only person to have ever been in charge of programming at three different networks. He was a legend at CBS and ABC ... but, ironically enough, failed miserably at NBC with such memorable disasters as "Supertrain" and "Hello, Larry."

It's one thing to play Monday Morning Quarterback, but it's a whole other thing when you called the plays.

98 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

max    

I don't get it... Silverman is quoted in the Times piece as supporting Leno's move to 10. AND calling the move back to 11:35 Mickey Mouse. Liked the original idea...didn't like NBC's bailing on it. No inconsistency there. No story there. No gotcha. Do better TMZ.

1556 days ago
2.

John    

yeah this isnt jays fault... its nbc and conans Ego

1557 days ago
3.

becks    

Just thought I'd mention... the blackout strip loads a second or so after the email, so you can still see Mr FS's email. Someone might wanna get on that :)

1557 days ago
4.

Simone    

These guys are a bunch of idiots!!!!! I don't give a damn for their stupid shows!!!!!! Move on, guys!!!!!!! There are better things to watch on television. Or, even better than this, forget about tv for a while and go and pick a book to read. It can be very productive!!!!!!! Believe me!!!!! ; )

1557 days ago
5.

ray ray    

My balls itch.

1557 days ago
6.

Simone    

First page!!!!!!!!!!! Hahahahahaahahahahhaahahahaahhahahahhahahhaa.

1557 days ago
7.

Nine    

Easy to guess how fast NBC was looking for that old email and sending it to TMZ. They must have been seething at Silverman's quoted comments in the news.

1557 days ago
8.

ray ray    

My first page itches.

1557 days ago
9.

larry    

yeah this is leno's fault for diluting the country's comedic intelligence

1557 days ago
10.

ray ray    

My country's comedic intelligence does not itch.

1557 days ago
11.

Jerry Martin    

How long are those two douchebags going to act like little girls?

1557 days ago
12.

mike    

Good for a 4 to 5 demo rating? LOL, Jay had a tough time getting over 1.5, the ridiculously low bar that NBC set up for him.

Other than his first shows, I don't think Jay ever scored above a 2.5 in the demo.

1557 days ago
13.

Average Joe    

Doesn't change the fact that Leno is an ass

1557 days ago
14.

UGGGGHHH    

CONAN DID IT TO HIMSELF. GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM WHICH IS NOWHERE.

1557 days ago
15.

Wil    

TMZ! WE DON"T CARE! I hope that enough people will get pissed off and not watch either of them.

1557 days ago
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