Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jimmy-ing Late Night Ratings

Last week it was announced that Jimmy Fallon would be taking over for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. I like Jimmy Fallon he's talented, sweet, entertaining and all but it's a mistake. I'm not a big fan of Jay Leno but from the business side of things they should leave him in the spot for a few more years.

Why? He's still number one in the ratings, Jimmy Fallon will not beat Jimmy Kimmel in the demographics they think they want, and NBC is trying to compete for a small share of younger demographics instead of owning the older and it won't work.

Letterman has a solid audience and most will stay with him; Jimmy Kimmel's audience is unlikely to leave in droves; Jon Stewart (my personal favorite) is on 30 minutes earlier so some of Colbert's audience might go to one of the Jimmys but most likely all NBC is doing is alienating their older more conservative audience.

If NBC had moved Fallon before Kimmel's move then it would have made sense but now Kimmel has a whole year to hook the 10:30/11:30 slot and Fallon is going to not only have to pick off others' viewers he will have hard time keeping all of Jay's.

Yes young demographics are great if you can get them but better to own the older and be on top then to try and fight among many to get a slice of what they think they'll want. Now Jimmy will be competing with Conan, Colbert, Letterman and Kimmel. And that's if Jay doesn't hop to Fox or someone else to do his own thing.

Bottom line: If NBC is going to go for younger, fresher audiences they need to lead and go first with things or they should not give up on they ratings and profits that the Boomers bring. Boomer bucks are way better than nothing.