The Jay Leno show was an odd idea to begin with; a five day a week late night show that airs at 10pm. The new prime time show quickly caused waves with TV affiliates, who said the shows low ratings were not driving viewers to their 11pm newscasts as well as fans of the traditional 10pm drama, who now had a modified “Tonight Show” in that timeslot.
After months of rampant speculation, NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin told reports at the TV Critics Association that The Jay Leno Show would stop airing in prime time as soon as the 2010 Olympics begin.
So no more Leno? Not exactly.
The Jay Leno Show will now move to a not-so-new timeslot, 11:35 pm. This move would push The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien to 12:05 am and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to 1:05 am, which should really piss off fans of The Roots who have to work in the morning.
The network is currently in talks with both Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon and are still looking to keep both shows in their late night lineup. No word on Last Call With Carson Daly, a show which has improved greatly since the format of the show was significantly changed recently.
The idea of a 30 minute Jay Leno show is not new. The New York Times reported in 2008 that after Leno announced his retirement from The Tonight Show, NBC aggressively attempted to keep him on the network in different formats. One of these formats was a nightly thirty minute show at 8 pm, which he turned down before later accepting the 10pm show.
There are already rumors that O’Brien’s old bosses (from his days writing on The Simpsons) at the Fox network are interested in having move to their network, which would be slightly reminiscent of David Letterman’s move from NBC to CBS in 1993.