Last week Jay Leno finished his 22 year run as the host of The Tonight Show. Among many mixed feelings Grantland’s Steven Hyden described best how social media has had a large effect on the evolution of the show that will soon see Jimmy Fallon as host.
— Jay Leno (@jayleno) February 7, 2014
Hyden said the following about the evolution of The Tonight Show.
Late-night shows are experienced by most viewers the following morning via two- and three-minute bite-size pieces in people’s social media feeds. Using Nielsen ratings as a metric, The Tonight Show remains the most successful program in late night. But when was the last time you saw one of Leno’s bits retweeted into your feed? Have you ever seen one? If so, who in the hell are you following? Leno is about as viral-friendly as any doddering midsize metro daily newspaper columnist. (This explains his fascination with wacky headlines.)
The fact that @JayLeno hasn’t reached a million followers and @JimmyFallon has 11.5 million is giant proof that a popular show like The Tonight Show has way more to program for now then a linear hour of TV.
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