I’m Worried About Jimmy

I’m almost done with two of my three articles. I promise, they’re coming.

But I had to talk about this, because we all know that Jimmy Fallon is a funny guy. Okay, fine, most of us think he’s a funny guy. Otherwise, no one would be watching Craig Ferguson on CBS.

Most of you also know that Jimmy Fallon is probably my favorite late night host. Yep, more than Leno, Conan, Kimmel, and especially Arsenio. But as he transitions into the late night competition, I feel that ratings will not be on his side. Why? Because, frankly, we as a generation suck at supporting people we like.

We watch YouTube clips, we talk about them, and we even share those clips on Facebook. But we won’t watch his show. That’s not our generation’s thing. We like to support from afar. We start watching popular shows a week before the series end, and we only get into them in the first place because our Facebook friends talk about it non-stop to the point where I guess “we have to watch it” (I blame Hulu, which started that craze with Lost). And while not watching his show might fly since late-late night TV ratings aren’t incredibly important, late night TV ratings are slightly more important.

You see, Jimmy’s going to be measured not compared to Letterman, though that number will of course be there. But instead, Jimmy will be compared to his predecessor, Jay Leno, and his previous predecessor for the late night gig, Conan O’Brian. Hopefully, NBC has prepared Jimmy for the harsh reality set in front of him. He’s not Johnny Carson, nor is he the reincarnation of Jay Leno in his prime. The older crowd will probably not jive with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots. And he will get hurt.

However, I have to give Jimmy some credit here. He says the show isn’t going to change, but only in time slot and title. Which will give us more reasons as the younger audience to tune in (and not change the show…which happens more often than you think). And NBC can’t mess up a second time around, they have to see a potential ratings drop coming. When it happens, they have to look at the long-run. Jimmy Kimmel was struggling for years before he finally got an audience. For Fallon to fully succeed on the Tonight Show circuit, NBC can’t add the pressure when his ratings start to shutter down weeks later. Additionally, Jimmy can’t add pressure to himself. Just continue to have fun. But in a land where rating is money, and low ratings is no money, chances are it won’t be that easy.

Because really, while we may love Jimmy Fallon, we won’t watch him. And even more sadly, we’re not going to start now. And then we wonder why great stars or great shows come to and end.

But I sure will be watching. The last of my generation, I guess.

Good luck, Jimmy. I’ll be cheering for you.

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