Prime-time shows get the last laugh on Leno

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When NBC dedicated an hour of its nightly prime-time lineup to “The Jay Leno Show,” filmed in a Burbank studio, it made a gamble that its move would pay off by replacing expensive scripted dramas with a lower-cost ratings grabber.

But prime-time shows may have got the last laugh, Los Angeles Times television critic Mary McNamara writes.

There they sit with “The Jay Leno Show,” TV’s equivalent of that famous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline, having called time of death on scripted drama and indeed traditional network television while all around them great new shows are popping up like the plague victim in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” “I’m not dead,” says ABC with its new comedy lineup; “I’m getting better,” says CBS with “The Good Wife” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.” “I think I’ll go for a walk,” adds Fox with the runaway buzz generator “Glee.”

Meanwhile, NBC is hanging on with critical-maybe “Community” and on-the-bubble “Mercy”; the network was forced to “cancel” “Trauma,” even though it’s not really canceled per se, because there is literally nothing to replace it.

This is what happens when you panic — you leave your combat buddy for dead only to find he wasn’t, and then he comes back for revenge. Network TV — it’s aaalllliiiivvvee.

Read the rest of the story here.

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Written by Zain Shauk

December 1, 2009 at 10:51 am

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