Hot Freak Style News
updated 4:12 p.m. ET, Sun., Jan. 10, 2010
PASADENA, Calif. - NBC said Sunday it decided to pull the plug on the Jay Leno experiment when some affiliate stations considered dropping the nightly prime-time show. The affiliates reported that the local news shows following Leno had lost viewers since his show began.
NBC wants to put Jay Leno back at 11:35 with a half-hour show. The aging comedian's viewers skew older and, given their failing mental faculties, they have been forgetting to tune in at 10:00. "Instead of Jay leading them into the news, what we need is that old reminder from the local news anchors at 11:30 to stay tuned for Leno," said NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin.
Leno's repositioned show will be called "Jay Leno Past His Prime Time" so that Conan O'Brien can retain the "Tonight Show" brand. However, in Gaspin's plan, "The Tonight Show" would start at 12:05 a.m. and, as SNL Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers said, "it's a little weird to start the `Tonight Show' at a time when it's no longer tonight."
NBC stated that they had no show ready to replace Jay Leno in the 10 - 11 p.m. hour but affiliates said that would be fine, "even dead air would lead more viewers in to the news than what we have now."