Belzer’s honesty is always a breath of fresh air!!

‘Law & Order: SVU’ star rips NBC
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Actor/comedian Richard Belzer blasted NBC for giving its Monday-to-Friday 10 p.m. slot to Jay Leno, describing the situation as “a tragedy” and “the last gasp of a dying network.”
Belzer has nothing against Leno personally. But the subject came up when Belzer was asked about his own NBC show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, being forced to move to 9 p.m.
“Jay Leno, of course, is going to be on every night, meaning that thousands of people will be out of work — actors, producers, writers, wardrobe people,” Belzer said. “It may be good for comedy in a limited way, but it’s a terrible, terrible trend for network television to take five hours of primetime.
“I’m not denigrating Jay or his show. I just think it’s a network that is desperate.”
Belzer then prompted laughter by adding, “I’m already signed so they can’t really … ”
Belzer, 64, acknowledged the Leno move may be a bottom-line success for NBC.
“It’s the last gasp of a dying network that could turn out to be brilliant financially,” Belzer said. “But in terms of actors, writers, producers and all these people, I think it’s a tragedy, frankly.”
Leno currently is the host of The Tonight Show. But back in 2004, NBC was desperate not to lose the then-hot Conan O’Brien to another network, so it promised O’Brien, the host of Late Night with Conan O’Brien, that he could take over The Tonight Show in 2009.
Since then, O’Brien’s stock has fallen, while Leno’s popularity in the ratings remains strong. Since NBC is having trouble coming up with new scripted or reality shows that people want to watch anyway, it announced last month that Leno would be given a new 10 p.m. talk show, Monday to Friday.
That way, the network gets to keep Leno; it still keeps its promise to O’Brien for The Tonight Show at 11:35 p.m.; and it clears the way for Jimmy Fallon to take over O’Brien’s show at 12:35 a.m.
That’s a lot of talking every night, though. As Belzer said, if may work financially, but creatively and philosophically, it could be another nail in the coffin of network TV.
Law & Order: SVU certainly deals with some disturbing subject matter, so Belzer was asked if he thinks NBC will ask the creators to lighten up a little for a 9 p.m. audience.
“That’s actually a good question because we do deal with some very dark issues of human sexuality,” Belzer said. “Unfortunately people never stop doing bad things to each other so we never run out of stories.
“We haven’t heard anything from the network about toning it down. I doubt if we will, but it’s certainly a legitimate question.”
O’Brien takes over The Tonight Show on June 1. The new Leno show will debut in the fall.
Belzer was on hand at the Television Critics Association tour to promote a PBS special titled George Carlin: The Mark Twain Prize, which airs Feb. 4.