The Tonight Show host Jay Leno made comments about NBC's ratings recently that ruffled the feathers of the network's top entertainment executive, Robert Greenblatt.
During his Feb. 28 show, Leno poked fun at NBC falling to fifth place in the ratings period. He said on the show, according to The New York Times, "It's so bad, The Biggest Loser isn't just a TV show anymore; it's our new motto." He also said, "It's so bad, NBC called Manti Te'o and asked him to bring in some imaginary viewers."
Greenblatt sent an email to Leno to complain about the comments Leno made regarding the network.
Leno defended himself against the email, saying that late-night stars making fun of the network and its officials is comedy tradition, starting with Johnny Carson.
Rumors of Jimmy Fallon replacing Leno preceded the email exchange and have been connected to NBC allegedly feeling threatened by the success of ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live's ratings, which is in the same time slot as Leno, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A network veteran told the publication "Kimmel has done extremely well. Jay wins overall, but on any given night, it's neck-and-neck in 18-49," addressing the competition in the 18-49 age demographic. "I understand where they might have fear and also feel that they own the solution [in Fallon.]"