Just about everyone everywhere has been buzzing about the “Late Night TV War” between Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, & David Letterman. If you’ve been living under a rock & don’t know what’s going on, long story short, NBC wanted to move Late Night with Conan O’Brien to a 12:05 AM time slot & move Jay Leno back to 11:35 PM to compete with David Letterman.
O’Brien was given only 7 months to establish himself to go against Letterman. He started strong, then proceeded to drop in the ratings game once Letterman decided to make a snide comment about Sarah Palin’s daughter; Letterman’s ratings went way up after that. NBC seems to feel they’d have better luck putting Leno back in his spot & then Conan after Leno. In doing so, NBC has managed to anger the loyal fanbase now known as “Team Coco” as well as O’Brien himself. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where O’Brien is openly tearing NBC a new one on his program & NBC is considering paying him between $30 – $40 million to walk with the ability to host his own late night program on a different network again in the fall.
Enter WWE. The weekly guest host gimmick has been, for the most part, successful for the company. And as we all know, just about anything serious in the real world or anything involving the world of entertainment is easily spoofed in the world of pro wrestling. Remember the Donald Trump/Rosie O’Donnell war, the match between “Barack Obama” & “Hillary Clinton”, the battle for the Staples Center, or even the Billionaire Ted skits of old?
The only problems I can foresee are these:
2. The rights to some element’s of Conan’s show are rumored to be up in the air as well. If O’Brien was to host Raw & to make the program feel like his, it would be odd not seeing things/characters like Triumph the Insult Comic Hound.
If a deal can be worked out between the two that would not damage WWE’s relationship with WWE, I honestly think O’Brien could be the best Raw host since Bob Barker.
Check out the book The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, and the Network Battle for the Night