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Tonight Show host Jay Leno has reportedly drawn the ire of an NBC executive for poking fun of the network's rating woes.
The tension stems from a February 28 monologue that caused an e-mail exchange with the executive. According to a New York Times report, Robert Greenblatt, who is responsible for ratings in the entertainment division, directly complained to Leno after some Tonight Show jokes about the network's poor ratings.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Leno used news that NBC had fallen into fifth place in ratings as part of his monologue, saying, "It’s so bad, ‘The Biggest Loser' isn’t just a TV show anymore; it’s our new motto,” and "It’s so bad, NBC called Manti Te’o and asked him to bring in some imaginary viewers."
The report cites executives that work closely with Greenblatt as sources who leaked the information.
According to the sources, there was a heated exchange of e-mails and Leno was quick to defend his material, saying that poking fun at network brass is a long tradition of late night hosts.