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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.


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Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6


I could care less about both of these guys. Give me David Letterman

1710 days ago


We will always watch Leno and NEVER watch Letterman and now whiny Conan who cares only about himself and not the people who followed him to So Cal that he didn't care about when he looked out only for himself. JAY LENO IS THE BEST IN COMEDY AND HEART. THE MAN IS A FABULOUS HUMAN BEING WHEN LETTERMAN WAS A BAD LOSER COMING OUT WHO CHEATS WITH ALL THE WOMEN HE HIRES. EVEN NEW TEETH AND A HAIRDO AND PARTIAL FACE LIFT COULDN'T LIFT DAVE'S RATINGS AGAINST LENO SO HE NOW BASHES HIM .. but Conan.. he was a mistake and a pain to watch and listen to his lines. Oh, there were some right on target and good but too few and his performance was lousy. BY THE WAY, JAY LENO HAPPENS TO BE A HUMBLE AND FINE MAN IN PERSON AND TALKS TO EVERYONE WHEN HE SHOPS AND SPENDS TIME IN L.A.

1710 days ago


Leno, Letterman and O'Brien are not funny. Matter of fact their brand of humor borders on being rude and childish. Resurrect Carson or put animal planet shows on. Most people are either busy or sleeping late at night anyway and do not have time for the interview format programs.

1710 days ago


Leno is not the bad guy here. He was pushed out of the Tonight Show because NBC was afraid of Conan going to another network. Leno was ready to go to another network but because he's been #1 for 13 YEARS against Letterman, NBC comes up with the 10 pm time slot.

I'm sorry but Conan is not that young (46) and not that funny.

1710 days ago

Kip Cricket    

Leno has been piling on the lies and hypocrisy!

Too many are buying into NBC's PR machine which has every intention of rewriting history!

Don't be swayed, check out the following link to read of Leno's deceit:

1710 days ago


Let us not forget, this was the same Fred Silverman who was also the butt of late night jokes during his NBC run. (Does anyone remember now-Senator Al Franken and his "Limo for the Lame-o" on SNL?)

But surely, anyone could have come up with this concept.

1709 days ago


Can you please stop freaking talking about conan and jay Who freaking cares both shows suck dont watch them and I am really tierd of Reading/ seeing crap about them on tv.. There is got to be something a whole lot better to write and talk about then them

1709 days ago


They didn't improve their primetime!!! NBC took out so many good shows, e.g., Life, Earl, etc. to give in to a 10pm for Jay! Moved their news at an earlier time, then Jay, then Conan then the terrible next talk show! I remember Tina Fey saying during her acceptance speech on her award something like, "winning over a talk show or not being replaced for a talk show".

1709 days ago


ya right... stop trying to cover up for Jay. He's the real bad guy in all of this.

1709 days ago


Eff Connan, you signed a sh- contract now live with it. How immature is it to try to get out of bit by b-ing and moaning in the public. Jay's lawyers has enough sense to do what every first year law students is taught, include the who what when why and how in his contract. His contact said 10pm for a reason. You got a big shot agent and lawyer who effed up and now you are salty because they are moving back the when. Fact is they still offered you the tonight show, its just at 12:05 now. That's just a good business decision. Connan is the biggest d- I have ever seen. If NBC gives him a nickel for breaking the contract he signed more than the cost of litigation, I will loose respect for them.

1709 days ago
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