NBC's decision to give Jay Leno the 10p slot is not only the latest ridiculous choice made by the network, but it's also a clear sign that the once proud Peacock has given up. They've basically announced, "You win, CBS. We're done coming up with new shows, so you just keep cranking out the hits. If you need us, we'll be at Target trying on pairs of sweatpants."
To figure out how NBC got to this point, let's look back at some influential decisions by reading through actual transcripts between NBC execs.
2008 - On Jay Leno
Exec 1: We just can't make shit people want to watch as much as CSI.
Exec 2: True, but we have Jay Leno.
Exec 1: Go on.
Exec 2: We'll just put him on earlier for a few more years, until people forget about CSI. And then we'll come up with a genius idea --
Exec 1: Like ER in Phoenix.
Exec 2: Yup. Then we storm the ratings again in like 5 years.
Exec 1: Green light it!
2007 - On Friday Night Lights
Exec 1: We have a critically successful show, but nobody watches. What do we do?
Exec 2: Let's put it on Thursday nights, using our big shows as a lead in.
Exec 1: You're an idiot. Anybody else?
Exec 3: How about we put it on Friday night where nobody will ever see it.
Exec 1: I'm listening...
Exec 3: I assume it's called Friday Night Lights for a reason. You can only watch on Friday nights.
Exec 1: Right. Looks like our hands are tied on that one.
Exec 2: And then when it's about to be tossed aside, I've heard Direct TV has a "Direct TV" channel.
Exec 1: I don't know what that means, but make it happen. Exec 2, I'm sorry I doubted you. Now, where's that green light of mine?
2005 - On Competing With Other Networks' Serial Dramas
Exec 1: Have you guys seen this Lost show. It's fucking awesome. What do we got?
Exec 2: I've got a great idea for a show about superheroes living among us.
Exec 1: Great. What's it called?
Exec 2: Heroes.
Exec 1: I'm gonna need a little more.
Exec 2: They save cheerleaders. Or maybe just one cheerleader. Then after a year, well, umm....we'll figure something out."
Exec 1: I can only assume that's true. I'll green light it as soon as I'm done with this episode of "Lost."
1998 - On The NFL
Exec 2: It looks like having NFL Coverage is getting in the way of our Sunday afternoon movie of the week. Granted, it's the number one sport in America, but--
Exec 1: Be gone with it! De-green light!
1995: On Rounding Out "Must See TV"
Exec 1: We've got a half hour to fill. Any takers?
Exec 2: Let's give Jonathan Silverman his own show.
Exec 1: I love Jonathan Silverman. So will America. I'd be honored to green light this.
1992 On Replacing Johnny Carson
Exec 1: Let's hire Jay Leno, then fire him in 16 years, and then give up.
Exec 2: There's some days where you just read my mind. This is one of those days.
Exec 1: Green. Lit.
1991: On Green Lights
Exec 1: I've just purchased this green light.
Exec 2: What do you do with it?
Exec 1: I have no idea.