NBC has gone from Must-See TV to Must-See-TV-for-Scathing-Monologues.
The Peacock Network opted to precede its do-or-die, $800 million coverage of the Winter Olympic Games with a swift and merciless changing of the guard over at the Tonight Show.
1. Jay's Got Tonight: Not that we didn't see it coming a mile (or two weeks) away, but NBC officially returned the Tonight Show to Jay Leno and sent Conan O'Brien on his way for the bargain price of $45 million. It remains to be seen whether Jay's viewership will suffer because he came out of this thing looking like a schmuck, but apparently his standing in Washington is just fine. Aside from being sorry to see CoCo go, we're going to miss Letterman bits like this and Kimmel bits like that. And speaking of synergy, two of Conan's final guests, Tom Hanks and Neil Young, actually bridge the gap between the two biggest stories of the week...
2. Heeding the Call: George Clooney, Wyclef Jean and MTV Networks whipped together one hell of a telethon to raise money for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. From Robert Pattinson and Coldplay in London to Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Hanks and Young in L.A. to Madonna and Bruce Springsteen in New York, the A-listers came out in full force to perform, give testimonials and answer the phones. "Hello, this is Steven Spielberg/Reese Witherspoon/Julia Roberts, thank you for your donation" was heard by many Friday. Clooney then connects us to our next big story...
3. Global Domination: Proving that he's finally, truly made it, Avatar mastermind James Cameron gave part of his Golden Globe speech for Best Director in Na'vi. The pioneering blockbuster was also named Best Motion Picture, Drama, inching Cameron that much closer to Oscar (but first, the BAFTAs!) despite the fact that ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker was one of the best-reviewed movies of the year. (Here's why that shouldn't happen.) Meanwhile, the Hollywood Foreign Press is still hot for Mad Men (well, yeah, because Don Draper doesn't have a beard) and singled out Glee for a top TV comedy win, leaving 30 Rock with the collective wedgie. From the red carpet, where Clooney worked the crowd for telethon commitments, to backstage to the afterparties, E! Online covered it all.
4. TV Drama: Watch With Kristin wants your help figuring out which 64 TV couples belong in their Valentine's-Day-appropriate poll for lovers...Which Office duo might be eligible for the poll soon?...Sadly, a Gossip Girl couple is going to have a crappy V-Day...Rob Lowe is leaving Brothers & Sisters...Sarah Palin went on Oprah again, this time with Bristol to talk about premarital sex...New casts for Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains and The Amazing Race...We were sad to report that Survivor: Palau's Jennifer Lyon lost her battle with cancer...No more new Jersey Shore for awhile...
5. Last Days?: Sad how so many Hollywood careers are split into earlier successes and later tragedies. Though his only screen time lately has been spent on Celebrity Rehab and Fit Club, fans appear quite concerned about former Taxi and Grease star Jeff Conaway, who is in bad shape after falling down at his home. We hope he's not preparing for death, as his girlfriend fears.
6. Happy Festivus: Keep apace with all our coverage from the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, from what the heck Jon Gosselin and his new girlfriend are doing there to what we think of the event's hottest films, including the ones with K.Stew.
7. Legalese: Kim Kardashian is the latest hottie with a restraining order...Britney Spears is still the only hottie with a conservatorship...Roman Polanski isn't getting out of this pickle from Switzerland...Michael Jackson's estate wants no dough for Joe...Linda Hogan settled up with Nick's crash victim...Is Mischa Barton squatting?...Jon Cryer's ex says she didn't try to have him killed...Amy Winehouse was fined but not jailed for assault...Jen & Ben's alleged stalker pleaded not guilty...Ryan Seacrest's alleged stalker is going to trial...
8. Sick and Tired: Charlie Sheen is allowed to get close to his wife now solely because she's landed in the hospital with pneumonia and a post-op infection. After that, it's up for a judge to decide. But not until Feb. 8, when Brooke, we hope, is feeling better enough to make it to court.
9. Love Story: Casey Johnson ex Courtney Semel continues to mourn the late heiress. She opened up to E! News about Johnson's diabetes, which had her in and out of the ER, and about their plans to release their very own sex tape to raise some money, since Johnson's parents had cut her off. Romantic, but it wasn't to be (Tila who?). Meanwhile, Johnson's estranged dad is finally speaking out as well.
10. From the Cheap Seats: See Shiloh Jolie-Pitt as Annie Hall...See Kendra's baby boy sleep...See Johnny Depp shirtless...See John Mayer give TMI...Tara Reid is engaged...Same with Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green?...Adam Lambert's hanging with his ex...A third baby for Bo Bice...Joaquin Phoenix lives (and shaves)!...Good lord, Chris Brown...Tiger Woods in treatment?...Scott Baio's kind of an ass...Muse, Jay-Z and Thom Yorke are headlining Coachella!
It's times like these when we need to take a step back and look at the Big Picture.