Mr. Pop History – This one’s easy. It was the Australian band “The Vine” back in December of 2002. Why you ask? From the Mr. Pop archives:
Rowdy Australian band – “The Vines” are jettisoned from the Jay Leno “Tonight” Show after lead singer Craig Nichols began trashing the group’s equipment during a sound check, just before the show’s taping. He went into a tantrum – throwing around things – and then they were asked to leave.
Mr. Pop History – That is correct. It made a little money with Steve Allen, but after he left – there was no real host – and it lost money. What’s interesting is – local stations were making money with their late night ads – but NBC was not! Then Jack Paar took over in July of 1957 and it began a turnaround. It was called “Tonight” but when Paar took over – the show was named after him. The Johnny Carson era ushered in “The Tonight Show” title.
Everyone thought Leno was leaving NBC in May. Split. Gone. NBC says no, not only is he staying, he’s getting a prime time talkshow slot. No more timeshifting TiVo to see Leno.
The show, to premiere next fall, is expected to be announced today after the network closed a deal with the host late Monday, according to two NBC executives with knowledge of the agreement.
It achieves two objectives: preventing Leno from landing at ABC, Fox or Sony, which were expected to woo the host when his contract expires next year, and patching the network’s woeful prime-time schedule, down 13% this fall to a distant fourth place.
The new show will be similar to the Tonight Show format but with more elaborate sketches and taped segments. And though giving Leno a prime-time slot protects O’Brien from competing directly with him on another network, it risks draining audience and top-notch guest bookings from the future Tonight host.