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Jay Leno Show in Baltimore, desperate to boost ratings

So how bad is Jay Leno’s new show? It’s so bad, a broadcast consultant told me he’s been calling local stations to try and assuage their fears about ratings. (In my story on television news, I wrote about the “Leno Effect” — his show’s poor ratings are hurting the 11 p.m. local television newscasts that follow.)

It’s so bad, the best draw his show could get last week was 5.8 million viewers last Tuesday. Last Monday’s show was the worst of the week, drawing just 4 million viewers. That’s fewer viewers than Fox’s Cops (5 million viewers last week), Cops2 (5.5 million) and CBS’s Crimetime Saturday (5.5 million) which is actually mostly RERUNS of the network’s crime-related shows.

I’m sensing a theme here…maybe Leno needs to add some crime skits to pique viewers’ interest. But that’s not why his show was in Baltimore recently — check out this skit done in Baltimore that aired on Leno’s show last week. (My favorite part is the shot of the lady in the soup shop with a tear streaming down her face.)

The gist of this vignette is Leno lackey Owen Benjamin goes around town to different businesses and creates a one- or two-verse jingle about their store.  The Leno Show has created similar videos for other major cities around the U.S. and it appears as if it’s another way to pander to the major markets where Leno might be able to boost his ratings.

But if you’re not watching the show already, would watching the Baltimore video make you tune in? Seems to me the only thing that could save his show at this point is some kind of wardrobe malfunction or a Jerry Springer-esque mishap to get audiences buzzing and tuning in for the next meltdown.

But then again, as Ari Gold (Jeremy Pivon’s character) said on HBO’s show Entourage — “Drama, this is NBC. They gave ‘Joey‘ 46 episodes.”



  1. I had to check this info out about Jays show. After watching tonights episode, and I’ve watched a handful of episodes now, I just didn’t find Jay that funny. I’m a fan of Charles Barkley and the Biggest Loser, both were on tonight, but just didn’t find much of Jays stuff enjoyable. I think he needs to step up his monologue.

    Outlook is not good.

  2. I also can’t help but notice the attempt to keep ‘Biggest Loser’ viewers tuned in by having the latest ‘Loser’ cast off appear on Jay’s show each week. It’s a desperate ratings grab.