Panel: ‘Leno’ Only Needs 1.5 Rating to be Successful

By Andrew Gauthier 

The Hollywood Reporter

With just a 1.5 rating, “The Jay Leno Show” could make $300 million a year for NBC — and probably spark other networks to follow suit.

That was the judgment of WME head of nonscripted John Ferriter, speaking Tuesday on a Producers Caucus panel at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Other panelists, including USA Networks’ Jeff Wachtel and Lionsgate’s Kevin Beggs, concurred that NBC’s move was gutsy and that in any case the Peacock almost certainly would continue to declare victory — often and loudly — with regard to replacing five scripted hours a week with “Leno.”

As for what the intrusion of a talk show into network primetime means for television during the next two years, most opined that the proportions of scripted and nonscripted likely won’t shift dramatically overall. More…