BC Beat

Open Season on NBC

1/13/2010 09:29:14 AM

It’s open season on NBC.

With Conan O’Brien making it clear publicly that he would not acquiesce to NBC’s plan to shake-up its late-night line-up, the public piling on has begun in earnest.

Dick Cavett, Tonight Show writer when Jack Paar and then Johnny Carson hosted the program, called it among “the jackass [moves] of all time in broadcasting.”

His comments came during an appearance Jan. 12 on CNN’s Larry King Live that also included guest Donald Trump.

Trump was equally as withering in his criticism of NBC, which still airs Trump’s The Apprentice.

“I think it was one of the worst decisions in the history of television,” he said. “It’s a mess. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

O’Brien broke the news to The Tonight Show staff and then the media on Jan. 12 in a caustically funny letter. He took NBC to task for sacrificing him and the show he hosts in order to extract itself from its failed Jay Leno experiment.

“After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in primetime by making a change in their long-established late night schedule,” wrote O’Brien.

He also continued to knock the network on his program Jan. 12.

“Welcome to NBC,” O’Brien said during his monologue. “Where our new slogan is, ‘no longer just screwing up primetime.’”

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