With the Sept. 14th premiere date barely a month away, The upcoming Jay Leno Show was in a few news items today in the trades.  First off, it was announced that Jay Z, Rihanna and Kanye West will be the musical guests on the first show, and that they’ll perform Hova’s “Run This Town” from his new “The Blueprint 3″ album.  It was also revealed by Leno as he told reporters Wednesday that The Jay Leno Show will feature
musical guests at least once or twice a week, but wouldn’t be a major
part of the show (and unlike most late-night talk shows, won’t appear
at the back end of an episode). 
Other guests for the premiere are still pending.

Secondly, there’s a copious piece by Variety’s Jon Weisman about the logistics and possible ramifications for the future of NBC’s decision to strip the show five nights a week in primetime.  Among the topics he brings up is whether or not this will end up being a fluke or setting a new trend.  The most obvious issue is, if the show is a success, the economics of filling 250+ hours of programming a year with one program, even with Leno’s monstrous salary, will still look better on the bottom line than the hundreds of millions it would cost to produce several scripted programs.  Said former network programming lead Fred Silverman on the issue: “I think in the light entertainment format, (stripping) makes all the
sense in the world — and there is some precedent….Merv Griffin, many many years ago, had a deal with Metromedia, did his
talk show in syndication and played in 8 p.m., and did quite well. My
feeling is there are some other personalities out there that could do a
show like this if someone were to reach out to them.”


Finally, a panel of FX writer-producers gathered for cable network FX’s showrunners panel held during the semi-annual TV critics press tour in Pasadena and slammed the NBC decision to strip Leno.  Among them was Rescue Me showrunner Peter Tolan: “I feel they should take down their American flag and put up a white
one…They’ve clearly given
up — We can’t find anything that’s going to get any traction so we
quit.” 
The Shield creator Shawn Ryan didn’t mince his words either: “The reason you’re hearing such a visceral backlash is specific to
NBC…You have a generation of
writers growing up on their shows … so it feels offensive to me
because it’s that network. It used to stand for something better.”
  He also argued against the economic rationale saying, “What’s the value of [‘Leno Show’] show after it airs?” Ryan asked.
“They can’t sell that on DVD. They can’t sell it overseas. Nobody wants
to watch it three weeks later. Heroes is very expensive to make, but
it has value all across the world. There’s a reason they’re in [the
drama] business — when it works, they make a lot of money.”
  Sons of Anarchy showrunner Kurt Sutter was a bit more (i.e. much less) diplomatic: “They’re sort of the bastards to hate right now.”