Leno Drives 11:35 Home in NBC Spot


Last month at press tour, NBC chairman Jeff Gaspin was surrounded by reporters after his executive session. The big story, of course, was the oops-a-daisy do-over with The Tonight Show.
At the time, Gaspin had just lobbed a Hail Mary attempt to keep both Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien by offering Leno an 11:35 half hour gig and O’Brien a Tonight show that started tomorrow (past midnight). O’Brien, as we all know, walked. Leno got both the timeslot and the Tonight title.
I asked Gaspin in the scrum if we were going to see a new NBC campaign showing Leno zipping up the Pacific Coast Highway in his blue roadster with an 11-and-a-half on the door panel instead of the “10” featured in promos for the doomed prime time experiment. Gaspin allowed that they had already been kicking around just that idea.
Here it is above, as it has been airing during NBC’s Olympic coverage. This time NBC has slapped an “11:35” on the side of Jay’s car (“10:35 Central”) and some Get Back Beatles lyrics on the soundtrack. Guess Helter Skelter wasn’t available.
Other than that, it looks exactly like the spot they ran for the 10 p.m. debut–almost as if they shot two spots way back when–this one for when the 10 p.m. deal flipped over and rolled into the Pacific.

Leave a Reply