The Comedy Channel is Australia’s equivalent of Comedy Central. It airs shows such as ‘The Daily Show’, ‘The Colbert Report’, repeats of repeats of repeats of ‘The Man Show’ from 1999 and the like.
It also airs ‘The Tonight Show’ and ‘Late Night’ franchises, current hosted by Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon respectively. Jay Leno left Tonight, after 17 years back in May and since then has been preparing for ‘The Jay Leno Show’ which launches next month on NBC in the states.
The Comedy Channel aired Leno’s Tonight for at least 10 years, it was popular and was one of the few topical shows on the network. With Leno preparing his new show, the hope was that Comedy would air Leno’s new program – his Australian fans obviously would like to continue watching one of America’s most popular personalities.
However Comedy has reportedly said it will not be airing the program and Foxtel guides for next month clearly indicate that. However – it is adding another Late Night program preceding Conan… The Man Show’s own Jimmy Kimmel, who hosts ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ one of Late Night’s lowest rated programs….
Why would a network choose a low rated Late Night program (and air it before even Conan) which struggles to get A List guests over a proven formula with Leno, who undoubtedly will get A List guests as it will air in Primetime in the states.
It is puzzling and bizarre why they would pass on airing Leno’s new show – and even more bizarre why they would add Kimmel’s show. Unless something happened elsewhere (like Seven grabbing the rights to the show for their second Standard Definition multichannel), this is a big mistake by Comedy, not that they are unknown for making mistakes (Stand Up Australia anyone? Nope? Thought not).
Update: Great news, Comedy has confirmed it will now air it. Read about it here.