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NBC Executive Didn’t Think Jay Leno’s Ratings Jokes Were Very Funny

On February 28, Leno delivered a gallows humor-heavy monologue about NBC's recent ratings trouble. (The network came in fifth place — behind Spanish-language station Univision — that month.) "It's so bad, The Biggest Loser isn't just a TV show anymore ... it's our new motto," Leno said. "It's so bad, NBC called Manti Te'o and asked him to bring in some imaginary viewers." NBC's top entertainment executive, Bob Greenblatt, found the routine especially weak, according to Media Decoder. Sources say Greenblatt "fired off" an angry e-mail to Leno, which began a "pointed" exchange of messages between the two, with Leno "strongly [defending]" himself and a late-night host's sacred right to poke fun "at their masters." The report doesn't offer much detail beyond that but, just a few days later, NBC was forced to deny rumors that it planned to replace Leno with Jimmy Fallon.