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What Does ‘Page Six’ Suddenly Have Against Lorne Michaels?

Last Wednesday, for reasons unclear, "Page Six" ran a kinda weird item claiming that NBC was "on edge" over last month's ratings for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, which were down 20 percent from May 2009 (NBC's perfectly reasonable explanation for the drop: Fallon got a boost last year from Jay Leno's farewell shows). Yesterday, there was another strange out-of-nowhere item, this one about the "tarnished crown" of Late Night executive producer Lorne Michaels, who, the Post reminds us, is responsible for Fallon, failed Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien, and the recent money-losing MacGruber movie, which was released nearly four weeks ago. So what, exactly, was the peg for this thing? And why two slaps at Michaels in a week? Is Richard Johnson angling for NBC's 12:30 slot? [Page Six/NYP, Page Six/NYP]

Photo: Stan Honda/AFP