Courting Talent: Dinner And An Oh-So-Casual Job Offer

Let me get this right: A report said NBC executives courted the popular Jon Stewart and his agent with dinner and this proposal: We would be interested, if you were available.

That's like the New York Knicks' brass having dinner with Kobe Bryant and his agent, and saying if he were available, they might have a spot for him on the team.

I'm sure CBS would also like to have Jon Stewart, as well as Fox, and possibly ABC. Univision may even have a nice time period for him. Stewart's contract with "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central ends next year.

People in Hollywood have dinner all the time -- sometimes lunch, less frequently breakfast. (People need to work out, after all -- and sleep). NBC is different. It in needs help in a few different areas, but, ironically, not in late night, where it is still No. 1.

Still, I understand perfectly. Network executives always need to look to the future -- not just six months from now.



"We'd love to have you work with us" seems to be a common phrase to hear -- especially if you are wildly successful. I'm sure NBC would also like to have the on-air talent of a Simon Cowell and Kiefer Sutherland, or maybe an executive producer talent such as Marc Cherry ("Desperate Housewives") or Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy") as well.

NBC is seemingly looking for Stewart to fill Conan O'Brien's spot -- as soon as O'Brien moves into "The Tonight Show" slot to be vacated by Jay Leno in 2009.

But Stewart may be looking for a bit more than just a second banana role -- especially on a network that is still in fourth place. He has already been said to desire David Letterman's show.

So there'll be more food to eat. Les Moonves, Bob Iger, and Peter Chernin could be making reservations now. But beware: The tab could be high.

Stewart is eyeing a big main course.

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