Jay Leno took some members of the media around the set for his new show, and he revealed the secret of his historically high ratings. What is it? Is it spending extra time crafting jokes? Going to comedy clubs to see what subjects make people laugh hardest? Nope.
Partly joking, partly not, Leno noted networks study minute-by-minute ratings reports to try to determine which elements of a late-night talk show work. One rule of thumb: Prudishly dressed celebrities don’t go over well.
If the first guest on his show is an attractive actress wearing a pantsuit and her shirt is buttoned to her neck, Leno said, viewership will drop the moment she walks out. Or if a well-known actor is wearing a beard that makes him unrecognizable, ratings will likewise go down.
“I can walk into the Green Room and see what a celebrity is wearing and go, ‘We’re screwed,’” Leno said.
Okay, I’m going to try to be fair. That makes perfect sense, and it’s the sort of thing you learn when you do “The Tonight Show” for 17 years.
A large door allows Leno to drive a car directly onto to the set, which is something Leno intends to do, albeit infrequently. The color scheme is rich and contemporary (“We’re putting a PF Changs here,” Leno joked).
One unique element is a full embrace of Leno’s love of classic automobiles. There’s artful photos mounted in various spots along the frames of the stage of his car collection (usually closeups of parts, such a speedometer). [THR]
Yup. Cars and clothes. That’s why Leno’s the best.