It’s no surprise to many of us that NBC’s attempt to save money by giving Jay Leno a variety show in the 10 pm slot has been a failure, and now some reports claim that NBC wants to move Leno back to the 11:35 pm time slot for a half hour show and keep Conan O’Brien, who took Leno’s place on the Tonight Show, but push back the start time to 12:05 am.
Both of these gentlemen are in the middle of planetary cycles that suggest change. Jay Leno’s chart (April 28, 1950, 2:03 am, New Rochelle NY) shows that his progressed Sun is at 4 degrees Cancer and is fast approaching his progressed Uranus (culminating in June of this year). This is a time of major change and perhaps liberation (Uranus) for him – it’s quite possible that he will retire or quit television entirely to pursue other interests. With a Taurus (stability) Sun and Virgo (details) Moon he is not someone who craves change, but this upcoming Sun/Uranus event suggests surprise and change for him.
In addition, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto are all converging in a challenging aspect to this Sun/Uranus combination, creating challenges (Saturn), radical departure from his present experience (Uranus), and the ending of one phase in his life and the beginning of another (Pluto).
Conan O’Brien (April 18, 1963, 1:48 pm, Boston MA) has a much more adventurous chart. He has the Sun in independent Aries, and although Virgo is rising (suggesting a need for details and a modest approach to life), Uranus (change and radical behavior) sits right on his ascendant (the point that describes the personality).
I suspect that O’Brien is pretty angry right now – transiting Mars (which has an irritating effect at best) is moving very slowly through a challenging aspect to both his Moon (emotional security) and his Mercury (mind and thoughts). The lunar eclipse on the 15th sits right on his South Node and I suspect he will be ready to let something from the past (South Node) go. Perhaps it’s the Tonight Show; perhaps it’s NBC.
Much of the press has focused on Leno and what his plans might be, and O’Brien’s camp has been rather quiet. However, even back in December there were rumors that NBC was considering dropping O’Brien as the result of falling ratings. In any case, both of these men are facing major change soon. Based on the planetary cycles I suspect that O’Brien will find a new opportunity, perhaps in March, and make a break in April or May. It appears that Leno will be engaged in some active negotiations in late January and early February but that confusion and indecision will reign in mid-February. He has a huge number of planetary transits in April that are likely to push him over the edge and motivate a major change of some sort.
While ratings for the Tonight Show have been dropping, viewers have not been turning to other late night shows; instead, they are watching scripted shows on cable and reality programs on E and Bravo. By the time this drama has finished unfolding, we may see neither O’Brien nor Leno on the Tonight Show, and perhaps no Tonight Show at all.
birth data from Astrodatabank.
Update: As predicted, last night Conan O’Brien made known his anger by releasing a statement Tuesday night announcing that he would not make the shift to 12:05 am. It will be interesting to see what the effect of the eclipse brings for him.