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NBC's Jay vs. Conan war: No laughing matter

NBC's Great Late-Night Disaster of 2010 has been mostly blamed on NBC. Popular opinion has NBC at fault for Conan O'Brien's decision to leave "The Tonight Show" before the network could move it to midnight in order to squeeze Jay Leno back on to its late night lineup at 11:35 p.m.

But Huffington Post has posited another theory: it's the fault of Will Ferrell.

Mark Malkoff, who bills himself as a comedian/filmmaker, blogs on Huffington Post that "every time Ferrell has appeared as the first guest on a talk show the show hasn't lasted long than a season."

He calls it "The Will Ferrell Curse."

The Evidence: Ferrell was the first guest on John McEnroe's talk show which, Malkoff noted, lasted six months. Ferrell was the first guest on Megan Mullally's talk show, which lasted five months. Ferrell was the first guest on Conan's "The Tonight Show," which will have lasted about seven months.

What Malkoff fails to note is that these three talk shows all have one other thing in common besides Ferrell.

McEnroe's talk show was telecast on CNBC - NBC Universal's cable network.

Conan's show airs on NBC - NBC Universal's broadcast network

Mullally's talk show was syndicated - by NBC Universal.

NBC - still at fault, no matter how you slice it. And, in conclusion, coverage of TV should be left to professionals - not comedians.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  January 20, 2010; 6:41 PM ET
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