Friday, August 12, 2011

No One's on Team Lopo

After George Lopez's abrupt cancellation from TBS this week, I'm wondering if Conan O'Brien is next.

Last year, during all the "Team Coco" nonsense, I remember saying here that I was surprised TBS would just push George Lopez back an hour to make room for Conan. It seemed like, in a conversation about who stole whose time slot, kind of a shitty move for Conan O'Brien to come back from having his time slot taken away by taking away someone else's time slot. It seemed very gracious of George Lopez to take the hit, even though his show was doing surprisingly well where it was. I had it explained to me by a number of white hipster Conan fans that it didn't matter because George Lopez wasn't funny--at least not to white hipsters--but whatever, it's impossible to have a conversation with a white hipster that doesn't come across as completely self-serving and disingenuous because, well, that's what pretending to be hip is all about now.

The thing is, Lopez was averaging over a million viewers a night in his old time slot. Now, pushed back an hour later, he's been getting about 400,000. Not enough to keep a show going. What I do find interesting is that Conan O'Brien, the savior of white hipster comedy, is actually getting less viewers per night than unfunny George Lopez did in the same time slot. Conan's averaging around 800,000. It's a lot more expensive to produce a show only 800,000 people watch nightly than it is to just throw on some My Name Is Earl reruns and sell the ad space.

Whatever happens, it does sort of reinforce what I said last year, which is that Team Coco would do whatever it took to save Conan O'Brien's talk show career except actually watch his show. Being indignant on the internet and going to comedy concerts is hip; watching a hoary old commercial format that is rapidly becoming outdated isn't.

I don't know why networks--and TBS--even bother with it anymore.


Splotchy said...

Very nicely put.

Kal said...

After the immortal Craig Ferguson, he only one who entertains me is David Letterman. He has done some funny shows with the biggest stars when he and them are the only quests for the hour. His recent show with Julia Roberts was terrific especially when Tom Hanks popped in to play the 'What Do You Know About Tom Hanks Quiz Game'. It was very charming and funny like back when you had multiple guests on Johnny Carson's couch in the 70s.

Drake said...

Lopez nor funny to white hipsters, boy that made my Spanish blood boil but like you said anything white douchebags er hipsters say is self-serving.
I bet Conan will be replaced by reruns of Charlie Sheen sitcoms in 2012.

Tallulah Morehead said...

You're being very unfair to Conan. TBS wanted to FIRE George Lopez a year ago to make room for Conan. Conan himself nixed it, saying they HAD to keep Lopez, since the outrage over his being fired to make room for Leno would ring hollow if he turned around and did to Lopez what was done to him. Lopez was quite ahppy to be pushed back rather than fired, because, they'd have fired him even if they hadn't acquired Conan. He got an additional year of work he would not have gotten if Conan had not come along and insisted on keeping him.

You're also ignoring one other important factor: Lopez is astoundly not funny. He's unwatchably bad. Wretched. He is unsuited, to put it mildly, to host a talk show. how does he talk with his tongue so deep up every one of his guests' asses? Remember, I work in the LA comedy melieu, and I can tell you frankly, Lopez is not respected as a comic by - well - anyone, certainly not by other comics. Note the total lack of outrage over his firing. The handful of people watching him may not even notice.

Conan on the other hand, is in no trouble. TBS is very happy with him. Conan may himself not be happy about the non-network numbers, but TBS has been TBS a long time, and they understand their cable market, and they are very happy with him. He won't be cancelled anytime soon.

SamuraiFrog said...

Splotchy: Thanks.

Kal: These days I only watch Craig Ferguson when Kristen Bell's on. Otherwise, I have no use for the talk show format.

Drake: Self-serving and attention-needy.

Tallulah: I don't think I'm being unfair to Conan as much as I'm being hostile towards TBS. I think the late night talk show format is long dead, but that's hardly Conan's fault. I used to watch reruns of his show on Comedy Central about a decade ago, and after you've seen four or so episodes you've seen every episode into infinity--repeat nightly.

Again, I think for someone as supposedly unfunny as George Lopez--and again, I don't watch either show, and I've never seen an episode of Lopez or of Conan on TBS--it's interesting that he scored more viewers in the same slot than Conan does.

I don't think my not giving a shit about Conan O'Brien or not thinking he's particularly entertaining is unfair.

Tallulah Morehead said...

You can like him or not. I felt you were unfair only in your statement: "kind of a shitty move for Conan O'Brien to come back from having his time slot taken away by taking away someone else's time slot," since he went out of his way to see to it that Lopez was not fired then. I certainly am not defending how good or bad one finds his show. I look at maybe one or two episodes a month. I did laugh at the title of one of his Christmas week episodes last year: "Fa-La-la-La-La-La-La-La-MURDER!"

Tallulah Morehead said...

Regarding your reply to Kal: "These days I only watch Craig Ferguson when Kristen Bell's on. Otherwise, I have no use for the talk show format."

Neither does Ferguson. His show is chaotic, in a good way. The talk show format is left in tatters. Come on, his sidekick is a robot (who often, but not always, sounds like George Takai)! Try him. You may like him. And his Doctor Who episode last year with Matt Smith and a Dalek was pure honey to we Doc Who fans. (Ferguson is, after all, a veteran of the first season of Red Dwarf.)

SamuraiFrog said...

I read you. I could have worded that better; I didn't mean that it was Conan's fault Lopez was pushed back; that was directed more at TBS. And granted, I don't know all the back story.

I see a lot of clips of Craig Ferguson's openings and bits on YouTube, and I do find him more entertaining that anyone else doing the talk show thing now. I did see the Matt Smith episode online with the "lost" opening, and enjoyed the hell out of it.