Back in September, when “The Jay Leno Show” debuted on NBC at 10 p.m., a Time magazine cover line declared: “Jay Leno is The Future of Television. Seriously!” If that’s true, it looks like NBC no longer believes that future belongs in primetime.
After rumors started circulating last week that NBC was mulling moving Leno back to his old 11:35 p.m. slot, NBC Universal entertainment chair Jeff Gaspin confirmed over the weekend that “The Jay Leno Show” will end next month before the network starts airing coverage of the Olympics. Gaspin said he hopes to move Leno to back to 11:35 p.m., pushing Conan O’Brien and “The Tonight Show” to a 12:05 a.m. start.
Although that’s what the network wants, it remains to be seen if O’Brien will agree to the change or leave NBC for greener pastures at another network like Fox. We wouldn’t blame him, and there’s already news that he’s not happy about NBC’s moves. An exclusive report today in The New York Post, which is owned by the same parent as Fox, said O’Brien was “ready to fly the coop.”
It also remains to be seen whether viewers will welcome the change, which has been motivated by NBC affiliate stations’ complaints that the low-rated “Leno Show” was not a strong enough lead-in to their local news shows. Since NBC put its support behind Leno this year, it hasn’t developed any scripted shows for its 10 p.m. slot, which is usually populated by one-hour dramas. What will the network put there once Leno leaves?
Read more: NBC ending Leno’s nightly prime time show –Associated Press
Just Call Him Conan O’Flyin’ –New York Post
Previously: Will Leno Return To 11:30?