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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

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16.

nof    

Everyone out here knows that everything is a crap shoot - you roll the dice and are just as surprised at what works/gets hot - as what seems to have the formula and fails.

Careers are long-term things, Fred Silverman has had a great career as an executive regardless of how his NBC situation was/is mis-shaped and mis-perceived.

Plus it's a lot about who you have around you and what projects have already been green-lit by the time you arrive.

C'mon TMZ, be fair.


Nof

1679 days ago
17.

tiv    

I dont get this article or the email ?? Simone go get a life tired of seeing you act like a child on here who cares who is first and second are you in kindergarten god!!!

1679 days ago
18.

kassandra    

Who cares. Im tired of hearing about this. Jay Leno all they way. Conan too boring and ugly as MUCK

1679 days ago
19.

Craig    

I hope that people finely get it and this it not Jay's fault. I thought Comcast would have some balls and fire these morons but I guess not. The ego terrorist loving GE loves these lackeys Zucker just sign new contract berfore GE left. They'll continue destroying NBC.

1678 days ago
20.

ray ray    

I like men.

1678 days ago
21.

woof    

why not just switch their current time slots? after all, their sets are already made, so no cost there. who knows, conan might just find his nitch at the 10PM slot!

fyi - never cared for conan.... however, the last week or so conan has taken off his muzzle, pulled out all the stops and has gone from dumbass silly to cut funny. who knew?

btw, if nbc likes this idea - i am for hire.

1678 days ago
22.

Marcos El Malo    

Wait, which scheme did Silverman supposedly concoct? This looks like he's suggesting that Leno do the 10 pm slot, not that Leno fail at the 10 pm slot, then hose Conan.

I never thought Jay was funny, but I did respect him as a stand up guy. I think I was deceived, and Jay is really a S.O.B.

I think the best take on the situation was provided by Jimmy Kimmel when he did the 10@10 segment for Jay.

1678 days ago
23.

Wellington    

That email looks pretty bogus to me.

1. It doesn't look like an email. It looks typed on a typewriter.

2. It reads as being TO Silverman not FROM him.

3. The person who it's from is blocked out. Shouldn't that be Silverman? So why is it blocked out?

Did TMZ do its homework on this or is it like the JFK photo scam?

1678 days ago
24.

Pitseleh    

JAY SHOULD CO-HOST THE NEW MARRIAGE SHOW WITH SEINFELD AND CONAN SHOULD HOST THE TONIGHT SHOW FROM NEW YORK. END OF STORY

NBC EXECS ARE THE EVIL ONES HERE, NOT JAY OR CONAN.

1678 days ago
25.

ray ray    

Went to the treatment center for Man Addiction, did not work. I still like men.

1678 days ago
26.

JayLenoLuver    

Of course Leno's not at fault in this whole debacle. The only reason Letterman, Kimmel and O'Brien are attacking Leno is out of pure jealousy and fear that he'll crush them in the ratings. Which of course Leno will.

Welcome back to The Tonight Show Jay!

1678 days ago
27.

Blue Swan    

Silverman was the beginning and end of the dumming down of American television personified by ABC in the 70s. Here's a thought -- let's return to the days of intelligent drama and comedy during the golden age of television in the 1950s. Find today's Playhouse 90 authors and Rod Serlings, give them studio space and no censorship. Write up, rather than down....

1678 days ago
28.

karma    

Leno is still an ass and Harvey is still friends with Zucker or Leno.

1678 days ago
29.

Wellington    

Looking even more closely at the "email" you can tell it was typed on a typewriter. The "i"s and "l"s are lighter.

Also when you send an email the recipients' email addresses are there.

That's no email.

1678 days ago
30.

rickyrickrick    

CEO Fred Siverman, a legend at CBS,ABC, LMAO. i see what a legend he really is, LOL! great work TMZ with this email. former and current executives of NBC, LMAO. does anyone have their resumes?

1678 days ago
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