Broadcasting & Cable editor Ben Grossman should consider a new act: Comedic psychic.
He wrote a column back in June that was meant to be humorous, as well as instructional on a key maxim of late-night TV: It generally takes time for shows to grow. In hindsight, Grossman just proved what he's always telling friends-- that he's something of a genius (kidding!)
An excerpt from Grossman's Left Coast Bias column from June 16 (the full text here):
It's amazing what happened last week in Universal City when David Letterman's ratings eclipsed those of Conan O'Brien for the first time on the night of June 9. According to my well-placed late-night moles, to say NBC went into unabated panic mode is an incredible understatement.
The morning after being honored at a big dinner in New York, Jeff Zucker jumped on a flight to Los Angeles for an emergency confab. He did so on the orders of General Electric chief Jeffrey Immelt, who hustled to Los Angeles as well. Marc Graboff even escaped from agents trying to do personal harm unto him and attended.
At the meeting, say my sources, everything meant to staunch the bleeding was considered, from immediately returning Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show, to swapping the roles of O'Brien and Today host Matt Lauer going forward. Both of these are part of the already-in-place succession plans NBC has to have under GE mandate.
Ultimately, NBC decided to stick with O'Brien—for this week—and will revisit his role as host on a week-to-week basis.
And if you think any of this is true, you should revisit the place where you apparently got your lobotomy.
Reached this morning, Mr. Grossman downplayed his "Heroes" - like special powers.
"Please, if I could predict anything, I wouldn't be making monthly installments to my bookie," Grossman e-mailed. "By the way, I like the Saints big this weekend over my Vikings."
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