With Jay Leno’s show on the verge of cancellation, sources say NBC is considering moving him back to late night on NBC.
Leno’s ratings have been in the
toilet since leaving The Tonight Show to start The Jay Leno Show in an earlier time slot. NBC recently addressed the
rumors of imminent cancelation by saying they stand behind Jay but are listening to their affiliates complaints about lost ad revenue.
“Jay Leno is one of the most compelling entertainers in the world today. As we have said all along, Jay’s show has performed exactly as we anticipated on the network,” said an NBC spokesperson in a
statement issued Thursday. “It has, however, presented some issues for our affiliates. Both Jay and the show are committed to working closely with them to find ways to improve the performance.”
One of those ways might include late night on NBC getting very crowded. Sources say NBC is considering taking the late night hours — now handled by Conan O’Brien in Jay’s old Tonight Show seat and Jimmy Fallon on Late Night
— and splitting them in three. The plan, sources speculate, is to give Leno a half hour time slot to kick off the hours, pushing O’Brien and Fallon back by 30 minutes.
Of course, other rumors have NBC considering putting Jay back in his Tonight Show seat, leaving Conan’s future up in the air. Sad, considering Conan is funnier than Jay ever had been — or
at least less yawn-inducing.
What does Jay think? It’s obvious from recent interviews that he misses his late night spot. He told Broadcast & Cable magazine he never wanted to go to prime time. “Would I have
preferred to stay at 11:30?” he questioned. “Yeah, sure.”
When asked if he would return to the coveted Tonight Show seat if NBC asked, he replied, “If it were offered to me, would I take it? If that’s what they wanted to do, sure. That would be
fine if they wanted to.”
It’s pretty obvious where Jay’s desire lies. What will NBC decide? Stay tuned to SheKnows to find out! Our bet is that Jay Leno will return to the spot he used to rule at 11:30 pm.