Those who assumed Jay Leno's tiff with NBC would be quietly swept under the rug can think again.
TV Rage reported Saturday that the host of "The Tonight Show" had drawn the ire of NBC entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt after he took a few light-hearted jabs at the network's ratings woes.
If last night's monologue is any indication, the late night host will not be backing off jokes at the network's expense any time soon, as he took aim squarely at NBC executives. "You know the whole legend of St. Patrick, right?" Leno asked the audience during the Monday show. " St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland -- and then they came to the United States and became NBC executives. It's a fascinating story."
Ouch. The joke comes on the heels of an alleged angry e-mail exchange between Greenblatt and Leno, in which the NBC executive requested that the host refrain from making the network look bad. Specifically, Leno recently joked about NBC's fifth-place status in the ratings: "We are behind the Spanish-language network Univision -- or as we call it here in Los Angeles, Cinco de Ratings," later adding "It's so bad, 'The Biggest Loser' isn't just a TV show anymore; it's our new motto."
Apparently Leno is fighting back against Greenblatt's misguided anger the only way he knows how: with humor. He has to be feeling somewhat bulletproof and carefree at this point, with a contract that runs through 2014 and rumors that NBC may be preparing his "Tonight Show" replacement. Could we see real repercussions against Leno if executives don't see the humor in the situation?