NBC Threatens Celebs – It’s Jimmy Fallon Or Nothing

jimmy fallonPhoto credit: CC license  by Warren B.

In recent days, reports have come to light that allege that NBC has issued directives to celebrities, informing them that if they want to appear on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, they cannot appear on any other talk shows. Assuming that the reports are true, this is a short-sighted and possible extraordinarily damaging stance for NBC to take.

Many people are clueless about the long, detailed and extremely difficult process that goes into booking a celebrity onto a talk show. Talent bookers work with agents and managers to find out when a celebrity is available to promote their latest film or television show, this happens weeks and sometimes months in advance. Bookers from other shows would no longer be able to plan out their guest lists. Moves like this would create major tension between NBC and other networks and production companies.

NBC’s bullying isn’t going to win them any fans. Celebrities may be turned off because it may feel like they’re being prevented from promoting their shows to as wide an audience as possible. They may decide to NOT go onto The Tonight Show purely as a matter of principle. That move would then create a rallying call amongst their fans. Before long, fans may decide to boycott the show as well.

People love watching The Tonight Show because they love watching Jimmy Fallon. He appears to be an entertaining and free-spirited comic, and he’s willing to make fun of himself for a laugh. Viewers tune in because they feel like they’re being invited to join in on the fun. If they feel like the show and/or its guests are being manipulated in any way, they may feel like they’ve been had. The ugly side of Hollywood would end up erasing any positive energy the show has enjoyed.

What NBC is forgetting is that what’s hot today is often cold tomorrow. We’ve all seen shows burst onto the scene, wowing the viewing public with tons of excitement and skyrocketing ratings. Remember Heroes? Lost? Eventually, the shows lost steam as viewers moved on to the next big thing. The same thing can happen with The Tonight Show. Turning people off right out of the gate can create a backlash that may be difficult to recover from.

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