** A known total trainwreck from its first imagining, Jay Leno’s primetime show is a bust. Now the brain trust at NBC wants to push his 30 minute bore-fest back to the “Tonight Show” time slot, bumping actual funny person Conan O’Brien to Nowheresville. Conan, whose intelligence and integrity is a near-unrecognizable commodity in Hollywood, fought back today and rightly so. He is correct in saying that he was not allowed enough time to rebuild his audience, correct in saying that changing the “Tonight Show” time slot will essentially put the show in the grave, and correct in realizing that he doesn’t have to take what programming scraps they give him. Leno’s stuff is tired beyond tired and struggling media giants like NBC need to look forward, not backwards, to try to grab their share of the very dissipated viewing audience now. It seems that Leno continues to have no difficulties whatsoever stealing material or screwing up of the careers of people more talented than he. Go drive a million-dollar car around, Jay, and give it up already.

** Disney is remaking the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” film. Oh, the pain is real, folks, right in my little heart. How I do not want that little pop-art gem of a film to be re-done, and especially not by the Corporate Rat. But the decades-long film industry trend of cannibalizing and strip-mining continues, no matter what this cranky ol’ Country Mouse thinks. Disney has already secured the rights to the Beatles’ song performances used in the original movie (good or bad news, depending on your take of such things) and Beatles’ tribute band the Fab Four will do the “performance takes.” Four actors that are not the two surviving Beatles have been picked to voice the Beatles’ dialogue –an opportunity to correct what was a disappointment in the original film lost. Oh woot, a stage musical is also being planned. Perhaps a grossly-overpriced theme park or a screeching preteen television show will also coincide. Sigh. The original “Yellow Submarine” was a landmark of animation and perfectly suited to its time. No, it’s not in 3-D and doesn’t have some kind of parental figure dying or missing as is common to the Disney franchise. And I’m not hopeful here that Robert Zemeckis and Mickey Mess will even come close to making something that is as charming, cool, entertaining, relevant, authentic, funny, fascinating, and beloved as the 1968 effort.

** American Idol returns to FOX TV tonight. If that isn’t bad enough, Pimp Simon Cowell has announced that it will be his final season on the show, in order to bring an even worse show to America, his other painfully-formulaic talent show “The X-Factor.” That one doesn’t have any rules on age or type of talent, so ala the old “Star Search” we will be subject to appallingly-precocious children singing “Tomorrow” from Annie or grinding to a Leona Lewis number, breakdancing plumbers, or autistic-spectrum frumps like Susan Boyle. “The X-Factor” relies heavily on the reaction from studio audiences, who seem to like to cheer on the misfit and the disturbingly-cute. The judges pretend to assess the contestants but of course vote for them to continue on in the show only if Cowell thinks he can make a profit off them down the line. Meet the new crap, same as the old crap.