Leno argued that the show will be taking the spots of others that weren’t associated with many jobs in the first place.
“What they were going to put here is ‘Dateline’ in a strip five nights a week,” he said, explaining that the show will employ more workers and not replace dramas.
But in killing the potential for other weeknight shows, the move will complicate the challenges facing industry professionals, who play substantial roles in the Glendale and Burbank economies and have struggled to line up work as major motion picture and television studios increasingly locate their projects in other states and countries to cut down on costs, said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.
NBC has slated the show to run at 10 p.m. weeknights, a slot once reserved for some of its “Must-see TV” juggernauts like “ER” and “Law & Order,” and currently home to one of the most-watched shows on television, CBS’ “The Mentalist.”
Other NBC shows have recently struggled to draw viewers at 10 p.m., when cable shows have begun to dominate, making the network’s new approach worthwhile, Leno said.
“There has not been a successful 10 o’clock show launched on any network in seven years,” he said. “’CSI Miami’ is the last one. For some reason people are not watching dramas at that time. They’re watching at 8, or they’re watching ‘The Shield,’ but they’re not watching them on the networks.”