Chins around the world are wagging as Jay Leno's return to 11:35 pm seems imminent, and NBC walks away from its bold experiment in shaking-up prime time. Now, here's Q screen boy Jesse Wente with his top five worst mistakes in TV history... drum roll please.
1/ Jay Leno goes to 10pm - a move that will go down as one of the great fiascos in entertainment history, Leno bled ratings at 10, and his successor Conan O'Brien lost all the ratings he was handed, turning the Tonight Show into a ratings loser for the first time in 15 years. NBC sold while all of this goes on.
2/ ABC rejects "CSI" - the Disney owned network famously rejected the CSI pitch only to see it move to CBS and become the network flagship and a multi-billion dollar earner in syndication and dvd sales. Also ended relationship the TV relationship between producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney. He's gone on to produce hits like "The Amazing Race" and "Cold Case" for CBS
3/ ABC turns down Cosby show - in 1984, comedian Bill Cosby pitched ABC-TV an idea about a sitcom starring him as a doctor and his family. They passed. Cosby sold the show to NBC, where it was #1 in the ratings for 4 years, went into syndication and became one of the most profitable series in TV history. Turned NBC from last to first, and rejuvenated sitcoms, which became the dominant prime time entertainment for the next 15 years.
4/ Fox cancels Family Guy - Fox actually cancelled the much beloved animated show, but after historic DVD sales and syndication numbers, brought the show back, where it has now become a network staple, with two spin-offs, "American Dad" and "The Cleveland Show". This is how a network saved a franchise - can NBC do the same?
5/ Fonzi jumps a shark - to start season 5 of Happy Days, there was a 3 part episode that included the now infamous moment where Fonzi is challenged to jump a live shark on water skis. Not only absurd, it signalled the end of Happy Days as a hit show, and has gone on to become synonymous with that moment when a TV show goes bad.