NBC Confirms 'Jay Leno' Exit From Primetime
Starting February 12, "The Jay Leno Show" will no longer be part of the primetime. NBC University Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin confirmed at Winter TCA Press Tour on Sunday, January 10 that the talk show has been yanked out of it's 10 P.M. hour. However, it's "not a done deal" yet whether it will move to 11:35 P.M.
NBC plan to slide the timeslot of its three late night talk shows by approximately an hour later. With Jay Leno taking the 11 P.M. slot, Conan O'Brien will get the 12:05 P.M. while Jimmy Fallon will take the next hour.
When questioned about what prompts the change, Gaspin confessed that putting "Jay Leno" at 10 P.M. did not meet affiliate needs. "Beyond that is a private conversation and when it all settles, you can talk to them about that," Gaspin said, adding "We're back in conversation tomorrow."
Not only NBC who talked blatantly about going experimental with "Jay Leno", Jerry Seinfeld who was present at the press conference for "The Marriage Ref" said, "This was the right idea at the wrong time. It was not a bad idea, and I'm proud of NBC that they had to guts to try something so different and original."
The victim here may be "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" who was the substitute. "Conan's motivation will become more clear as time goes on," Gaspin explained on the fact that other networks are desiring Conan. "We gave something important to him, which was The Tonight Show, made it clear that it was moving with him. Conan wanted the franchise of The Tonight Show; Jay wanted to tell jokes at 11:30. Still things [need] to be worked out."
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