Nbc Exec Insists He Had A "Logical" Late-night Plan
NBC Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin admitted Tuesday that he expected everyone to go along with his plan to reshuffle the network's late-night lineup, putting Jay Leno on at 11 30 p.m, Conan O'Brien on a half hour later, and Jimmy Fallon on an hour after that. "I went to Conan, to Jay, to Jimmy with a very logical, rational plan," Gaspin told reporters at the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) conference in Las Vegas. He suggested that he had no inkling that he might be bruising egos. "I probably underestimated the emotion of everything that went on ... the emotional impact it had on Conan, in particular," he said. Somewhat surprisingly, he conceded that the principal reason for programming The Jay Leno Show at 10 00 p.m. was not, as other NBC executives, including CEO Jeff Zucker, have said, to reduce costs, but to prevent Leno from going to ABC. Meanwhile, as if to demonstrate that there were no hard feelings in the wake of the recent schism, NBC announced that it had picked up a new legal series titled Justice from O'Brien's Conaco production company.