I was about to write the words, “Nothing shocks me on television anymore” when I realized that if that was true I wouldn’t be writing this. I get annoyed, mostly, by network television, but it’s been a long time since my breath was taken away. I’ve accepted without protest the most recent public spectacle of NBC’s regard for the reputations of Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien, two richly rewarded good guys in a sea of counterfeit crap peddlers, who were forced to cannibalize each other publicly in the aftermath of a panicky decision following a corporate blunder. This doesn’t shock me. But I try to imagine Johnny Carson in a similar position.
This is what network television in the year 2010 does to its mega-mega-million dollar stars. But that’s the business of television. The programming is worse. [Read more →]