NBC Confirms Jay Leno's Move Out of Primetime
We reported a few days ago that NBC was considering moving The Jay Leno Show out of primetime and now the network has made up its mind. According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC Universal TV chairman Jeff Gaspin has confirmed its plans to move The Jay Leno Show back to the 11:30 PM timeslot.
"I can confirm that starting Feb. 12, The Jay Leno Show will no longer air at 10 p.m.," Gaspin told the packed auditorium. "While it was performing at acceptable levels, it did not meet our affiliates' needs. My goal right now is to keep Jay [Leno], Conan [O'Brien] and Jimmy [Fallon] as part of our late-night lineup. As much as I'd like to tell you we have a done deal, we know that's not true."
It was said that the network asked Leno to host a half-hour program, which would be followed by an hour-long The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien and the hour-long Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. However, while Leno was expected to agree to the deal, it wasn't yet clear if O'Brien would stay with the network.
Gaspin also said that the decision was more based out of concern for NBC affiliates and their news programs, which had seen a sharp decrease in ratings after The Jay Leno Show moved to the 10 PM timeslot.
While Gaspin wasn't sure what would air at the 10 PM timeslot after the move, he noted there would likely be, "two hours of scripted, another reality hour and combination of Dateline or repeats," to fill in short term.