Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thursday's throwdowns

Jay Leno's prime-time talk show appears to be in trouble:
"Two months ago Jay Leno said he'd take back his old job hosting NBC's "The Tonight Show" if the network asked him to. Now it looks like he might have to be the one doing the asking. About halfway through his first season hosting "The Jay Leno Show" in prime time on the Peacock Network, an industry Web site is reporting NBC is pulling the plug on Leno. reported the story Thursday morning with the not-so-subtle headline C-Ya: NBC to pull the plug on Leno! "The Jay Leno Show" began on NBC in September, airing Monday through Friday at 10 p.m., where it has displaced several prime-time scripted dramas. For that, and for his less-than-stellar ratings thus far, Leno has taken heat within the TV industry as well as from critics."

Can't say I'm surprised. I was skeptical about this venture when NBC announced it. I have nothing against Leno, who seems like a nice guy and is often funny. But he faced difficult odds. People have so many choices now when it comes to television, what with digital cable, satellite, and the speedy growth of the DVR. There are talk shows everywhere, all day. And many still watch Conan O'Brien or David Letterman after their late local news. I don't think Americans had the appetite for yet another talk show, in prime time yet.
If indeed his show gets dumped, what will happen to Leno? Will he actually go back to the Tonight Show and displace Conan? Stay tuned...

Michigan State 54, Wisconsin 47: Gritty, gutty, a bruising battle...the usual descriptors apply again as the Spartans battle the Badgers in the tough Big Ten. Michigan State won this one, thanks to being at home, making some key plays down the stretch, and winning the rebounding battle, all good signs. But they have to get better at making free throws and having fewer turnovers, areas in which they still struggle. Is Purdue the conference favorite now...?

In Massachusetts, in the special senate election to finally fill Ted Kennedy's old seat, it does appear that Republican Scott Brown has at least a slight chance to pull an upset, and defeat the heavy favorite, Martha Coakley. Given that this is solidly, complete Democratic Massachusetts, of all places, this is big news, and again shows how the political environment is changing--for the worse--for Democrats.
Note also that in Arkansas, Republicans for sure have a great chance at a pickup. There, incumbent Dem Senator Blanche Lincoln literally trails every single possible Republican opponent, and has had low approval ratings for quite some time.