The most surprising thing about the recent news that Jay Leno will reclaim his 11:35 PM EST /10:35 PM CST slot, moving Conan and the Tonight's Show back at least 30 minutes, is the fact that no one really seems to care. When the news broke, I fully expected Facebook groups to pop up all over the place with titles like "Keep Conan" or "I bet I can find 1,000,000 people who want Conan to stay." While those groups exist here and there, they don't seem to have gained any steam and the bigger message that I'm getting is that no one really cares. Far more people have joined Facebook groups to protest the change in football coaches at Texas Tech, if that puts it in perspective for you.
I guess from a personal standpoint, I don't really care either. I really really don't like Leno, have never watched his new show, and think he isn't funny most of the time. I think Conan is far better and funnier, but while I never watched the Tonight's Show with Leno, I rarely watch it with Conan either.
Apparently ever since Conan took over, Nightline has become the number one show in the 11:35 PM EST slot. I don't even know that the issue is about Conan, but rather that the change gave people the opportunity to break old habits and try out something new. Turns out Nightline is a pretty good news program, which isn't Conan's fault. Moreover, the game with late night shows is much different now than when Leno took over, in that a much smaller percentage of people had cable when he replaced Johnny Carson and so he didn't face so much competition in maintaining viewers. When the Leno/Conan transition happened, probably as many people shifted over to watching Ace of Cakes or Roseanne reruns as switched to Nightline or Letterman.
What does all of this mean to the world? Very little. Why did I write about it? Monday morning procrastination. The Conan die-hards will doubtless get to see him in some time slot on some channel, whether it be NBC or FOX or Univision, and the continually struggling NBC is going to take the Leno show that didn't work in the 10 PM EST slot and move it back an hour and a half where it used to work and hope that everything works again. I'm not sure that's the best reasoning, but as I've noted, I don't really care. Apparently you don't either.
Update: Great NSFW interview with Patton Oswalt about the situation.
Another update: The facebook group finally showed up, with over 600,000 members, but way too little too late.