It's been that kind of week: first "Desperate Housewives" gets a year cut out of its lifespan, and now "Lopez Tonight" gets cancelled‘«Űnow, right away, no waiting. Thursday night was George's last original broadcast (ironically, one of the listed guests: Eva Longoria of the equally ill-treated DH).
So what happened? The most common analysis says it's all a numbers game, and George just wasn't delivering, especially when he moved (voluntarily or not) out of the 11 pm slot and Conan O'Brien's "Conan" moved in. (At the time, George said repeatedly it was his idea to move to midnight; that he thought Conan would do better at that hour and they'd both benefit from the move. Turns out that may not be the entire story; Conan himself may have insisted that TBS not simply cancel "Lopez Tonight"‘«Űthat would look bad for everybody after the Leno-O'Brien debacle at NBC‘«Űand instead asked that George be slotted in at midnight to sink or swim. Chance are no one will ever really know if Conan was the guy who saved Lopez from drowning for a year or ultimately pushed his head underwater.)
And it's not like this was Lopez' lifelong dream. When George became a talk show host for TBS just two years back, he was best known for his bad-boy stand-up comedy and his onscreen persona as a family man in the long-running ABC sitcom, "George Lopez" Show. Still, he drew more than 900,000 viewers a night in the early days of Lopez Tonight‘«Űa strong start, especially for a newcomer working way down the dial.
But the numbers didn't get better; in fact, they began to fall fairly quickly. Even in the cable world of lowered expectations, by the time Conan O'Brien came to the net the next year; cancellation rumors for "Lopez" were already all over the place. Whether it was Conan or the net or Lopez himself that originated the idea of the move to midnight, it was generally seen as a new opportunity‘«Űor perhaps a last chance‘«Űfor George's talk show.
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