It Feels Like Deja Vu All Over Again

If rumors are true, NBC is considering letting Jay Leno's contract expire in 2014 without asking him back. And who would replace him? Jimmy Fallon, of course.

Jimmy Fallon

Conan O’Brien is somewhere laughing right now. After the huge controversy that surrounded his taking over The Tonight Show, which led to him eventually leaving NBC, it looks like the network is ready to try again.

"There’s word that NBC brass are ruminating over Jay Leno’s future — which would involve finally giving their current late-late guy comic, Jimmy Fallon, the coveted job as the host of The Tonight Show," said the New York Daily News.

According to the newspaper, "multiple various talent agents" have contacted them saying they have been contacted by NBC looking for someone to fill Jimmy Fallon’s spot when the shift happens.

"Leno’s current $15 million a year deal expires in 2014," said the NY Daily News. "[It] came about after he 'volunteered' to take a 50% pay cut earlier this year, a move that helped NBC slash The Tonight Show’s $100 million budget by about 20%."

ABC may be the one to come out the winner in this situation. Jimmy Kimmel will move to the 11:35 p.m. slot against Leno and CBS’s Letterman, hoping to capture the ratings from the 18 to 49 age range.

"It doesn’t hurt at all that Jimmy Kimmel Live is an entertainment program headed by a star 20 years younger than his new time slot rivals, Letterman and Leno," said the newspaper. "Meanwhile, at CBS, Leno’s nemesis, David Letterman, is also under contract until 2014, and there has been a long unsaid understanding throughout the TV industry that Leno won’t step down until Dave does."

NBC has done a lot for Leno; they hired him in 1992 when they decided not to give David Letterman the slot left open by Johnny Carson. After they announced Conan O’Brien would be Leno’s successor, Leno was put in an earlier timeslot. But ratings for that show were bad and the network eventually opted to put him back on his show, which left O’Brien without a job (he eventually found his place on TBS).

Chances are O’Brien fans will be happy if the rumors are true.

Photo courtesy Kyle Blair/


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Comments on "Is NBC considering giving Jay Leno a forced retirement?"

R-Effer March 02, 2013 | 9:53 AM

Just to set the record straight. NBC put a time limit on Leno on that last contract screw up. He didn't screw Conan O'Brien over. To the contrary, Conan was holding out because he wanted Leno's job. When Leno left, he he is now...#1 in that time slot. What network, in their right mind, takes a show at #1 and gives it to someone else! You people keep blaming was in fact...and still is a network error.

R-Effer March 02, 2013 | 8:58 AM

Here we go again. He STILL holds the #1 slot and they keep screwing with him. The Tonight Show....IS a dynasty, just as it always was. They hold the #1 slot at 11:35 and also for Fallon they want to put Fallon at 11:35 and take a chance on losing money on the other end? Just let Jay finish with dignity like Letterman. They are a "rare breed" and we owe it to them to allow THEM to decide. geesh....get your heads out of your butts.

dhall March 02, 2013 | 8:56 AM

THis is going to be an epic fail for them. Jimmy Fallon's show is horrible. Jimmy Kimmel is going to take all of the ratings from the young crowd. Fallon is like watching someone in a coma trying to deliver bad jokes, and giggling at his guests. Letterman comes across as a P.O'd grandpa arguing with and making fun of his guests,... Kimmel isn't the best, but he's better than the other 2 options.

Fritz A. Hardt, Ph.D. March 02, 2013 | 8:53 AM

Jay Leno is an inspiration to many Americans and people where his Show aires. Despite his handicap or disability of dyslexia [which means, that he cannot read or write], he is one of the most effective Oral Communicators seen in our public today. He should work and be seen and be heard for MANY years to come ! Fritz A. Hardt, Ph.D., retired psychologist & school psychologist.

Jay March 02, 2013 | 8:32 AM

I think NBC lost their warm fuzzy feeling for Mr. Leno when he started criticizing their idol, President Obama. Mr. Leno has directed his humor at the President one too many times. Not that it happens every night, but far too often for NBC.

Scott C March 02, 2013 | 8:27 AM

Ever since Mr Leno did his backstabbing deal to Conan O'Brien, I have vowed never to watch Leno again...he is an egotistical jack-wagon and when he left, he should have stayed gone.

A. T. January 17, 2013 | 5:07 PM

I lost respect for Mr. Leno and NBC. Conan didn't have a chance once they put Leno before him. And what really irritates me the most.. Conan wasn't the same chance as Mr. Leno. Idiots. Both have talent but I enjoy Mr. O'Brien for his more humbal ways. But, he needs to listen better and ask questions to his guests. AND film more clips outside the studio. But, he is funnier then them all. AND I'm 60!

Max January 05, 2013 | 3:50 AM

Leno is terrible but not going anywhere in 2014, maybe 2017 or later.

jan martin January 04, 2013 | 10:38 AM

we love jay, conan is awful!

Rachel December 18, 2012 | 1:28 PM

I love Jay Leno and am going to be very sad when he retires.

kresmonds December 18, 2012 | 11:09 AM

correction - Jay took over in 1992 not 1993.

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