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NBC Plan: Return Leno to Latenight, Move Conan to 12:05 A.M.

Jan 8, 2010  •  Post A Comment

With affiliates unhappy about low ratings leading into their late newscasts, NBC is looking at canceling Jay Leno’s 10 p.m. show and returning him to latenight at 11:35 p.m., but in a half-hour format, The New York Times reports.

His replacement, Conan O’Brien, would move to a 12:05 a.m. EST start time and his show would remain an hour long, the Times said, citing sources who have talked to NBC’s top management. The plan would go into effect after the Winter Olympics. Jimmy Fallon’s show would also slide a half-hour, to a 1:05 a.m. start.

NBC told the paper that no final decision has been made, and said in a statement that “We remain committed to keeping Conan O’Brien on NBC.” A source said that the plan is essentially in place.

In his monologue Thursday, Leno addressed the developments, noting: “I don’t think there is any truth to the rumors. See, it’s always been my experience that NBC only cancels you when you’re in first place.”

–Elizabeth Jensen

10 Comments

  1. WHY TRY AND FIX ANYTHING I SAY JUST GET RID OF NBC ONCE AND FOR ALL THEY ARE NOTHING BUT FLOP AFTER FLOP AND ALL NEED TO LEAVE BEFORE IT SINKS SO FAR!! THEY ARE JUST PLAIN NUTS!! ONE FAT SHOW DOES NOT MAKE A NETWORK !! COME ON PEOPLE WAKE UP YOUR NUTS ALREADY!!

  2. Leno at 10 = New Coke. NBC, man up and move on. Honestly, who couldn’t see this coming. Late night is not prime time.

  3. Hey NBC,
    Do the right thing for Jay. Bring in “5th Gear” from the BBC and make him the host. It’s celebrity and cars – perfect for Jay and… it’s the UK’s number one show. It’s a “No Brain Conclusion” (NBC).

  4. Memo To Jay Leno:
    Leave NBC while you still have an ounce of dignity. If you replace or displace Conan O’Brien it will be a horrendous public relations nightmare for you and mar your image.
    Take a buyout, walk out, hold your head high and walk over to the competition and kick their ass. But you MUST leave NBC which stands for “Nothing But Ca Ca…” LOL…

  5. Some of us watch our local NBC newscast — and then leave the channel alone afterwards — because we know Conan is coming next! The management folks at NBC need to have their heads examined. I like Conan at 11:35 p.m., and during the week at least will NOT be staying up to watch him beginning after midnight. Time for Leno to retire for good, or hire new writers/producers … and I won’t cry over Fallon’s show shifting later into semi-oblivion.

  6. Isn’t Leno embarrassed yet? i couldn’t believe the desperate, baby act of moving to 10pm after losing the Tonight show. I agree. NBC, “man up” and can him. Doesn’t he have enough money, enough fame, enough EVERYTHING to just chill for a while? Furthermore, I think he’s a big phony.

  7. This debacle seems like NBC & Letterman all over again, Get the incumbant (Leno) out of the Tonight show to bring in someone new, just like Carson’s departure from Tonight in ’93. Like Letterman, Conan will probably go elsewhare, like Fox or ABC and be a thorn in NBC’s side,and pocketbook.,.
    Ed Anson was right though when he voiced concern about this 10:00 PM slot. He should have run Boston news instead at 10:00 PM. Boston 7 numbers would have been better. Even with Leno from Boston, he’s bombing in Boston at 10:00 PM.hurting Boston’s 7 News at 11:00 PM
    But Leno was right last night when he said NBC stands for, “Never Believe your Contract.” Let us not forget though that Leno did not ask for this show, Jeff Zucker wanted to keep Leno from jumping from NBC to Fox or ABC which would have hurt NBC’s late night numbers, and bottom line income. It’s all about money!!!! Watch out when Comcast buys the joint, it can only get worse.

  8. I cannot agree with you more. This whole situation is bs in my opinion. Leno has made his money, agreed to the switch back in ’04 and like the graduate who refuses to leave the senior prom, he continues to stick around and look desperate in my eyes.
    Yes, performing on television is like a good drug, but no one said that it lasts forever. Leave already….go to cable and/or Vegas and demonstrate what a classy guy you are.
    This just wreaks of Jay being a phoney like most of Hollywood.

  9. Okay, so Leno did not “ask” for the show, so why did he agree to leave “Tonight” instead of fighting Zucker for it back in 2004? What was so great about Conan back then? Oh, Zucker thought that he could keep both of the stars from leaving and saving money. Now they will bleed money and not be able to “save” face either.

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