The Jay Leno Show: Has the TV Series Finally Been Cancelled?

Jay Leno ShowAfter months of taking jabs from the media and enduring low ratings, it looks like NBC has caved — sort of. Though the network had committed to running The Jay Leno Show for one year, regardless of the ratings, the local affiliate stations were not happy with the arrangement and the weak lead-in for their newscasts.

At the TCA press tour, Jeff Gaspin (the NBC Universal Chairman of Television Entertainment) confirmed that Jay Leno is heading back to late night but he won’t be resuming his old duties on the Tonight Show — maybe.

Instead, the network is planning to cut The Jay Leno Show down to 30 minutes and run it at 11:35pm, after the local news. The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien will then shift to 12:05am and Jimmy Fallon will start at 1:05am.

Gaspin told critics, “I can confirm, starting February 12, The Jay Leno Show will no longer air at 10:00 pm. It didn’t meet our affiliates’ needs and we realized we would make a change.”

Is NBC making another late night mistake?

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The exec concluded that he wants to keep all three hosts at NBC. “As much as I would like to tell you we have a done deal, but the talks are on going.”

The problem will be if Conan O’Brien doesn’t agree to the new timeslot, returning to essentially the same position that he left last Spring.

If O’Brien decides to leave NBC, the network would likely put Leno back into Tonight and keep it at 11:35pm. If that happens, it will be interesting to see if Leno can regain the viewers that left last Spring.

What do you think? Is it a good idea to put Leno back into late night? Is NBC making another big mistake and dissing O’Brien? Should NBC just put Leno back on The Tonight Show and be done with it?

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11 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. wayne jones says

    i could care less. please cancel jay leno, conan is the best , funniest, the man as far as i am concerned. did i mention please cancel jay leno

  2. lulabalulah says

    I say “good riddance”. While I’ve only ever read positive things about Jay Leno as a person, and I wish him well in his future endeavors, an awful lot of good shows were unceremoniously dumped to clear the way for this disaster of a show.

    I don’t think bringing them back would necessarily rocket NBC back to the top, but it would give the viewers something better to watch than a retread of the worn out late night talk show format that is only funny or entertaining to sleep-deprived insomniacs who don’t have cable.

  3. Annette says

    I have to say that I have NOT watched the Tonight Show since Jay Leno left. I never liked Conan, and I will never watch the Tonight Show while he is the host. I watched The Conan O’Brien Show one time, and was shocked to hear him cut down his band members and dis them so badly on the air. He should have never gotten The Tonight Show’s reputable position of host.

  4. Janine says

    Jay = not funny
    Conan = not funny

    I say scrap the entire thing, wash the set thoroughly, and start aknew, but this time keep Carson in mind when casting for the Tonight Show instead of just picking any random fellow that shows up off the street.

      • Nobody says

        I’m sure janine was talking about JOHNNY Carson not Carson Daily. Conan IS funny in my opinion. And now that he has Andy Richter back I love the show more.

  5. says

    I was a bit afraid to say what I really felt as I didn’t want a lot of re-taut but it seems that you are on the same page with me for the most part. I don’t think he’s funny, I never thought he was. Let’s be honest here, the guests were good but the funny was really in the Jaywalking, Monday Headlines, and other skits. The thing that’s not him, the comedy of those are from the writers only, Jay was essentially the guy just reading or hosting the stuff.

    Now that’s not to say he’s not funny, I’m sure he is but to me I just haven’t seen the humor in him at all. If anything I used to rack my head of how to wait for Conan or Craig. You had Jay with his rough humor that’s not too funny but bordered on Jerky, or Dave who’s an extreme waste of an time and tends to put you to sleep, Jimmy Kimmel is funny but after he’s done you’ve already missed half of the late night shows which would be fine but I enjoy the monologues. When Jay left the world got better for me, I had someone funny to watch and no longer had to waste time. Truth be told I wish he did just say “You know what? This isn’t working, the show flubbed again due to NBC and I want out!” it won’t happen though, he’ll most likely return to the time slot for the sake of a half hour and try to make it work.

  6. MK says

    Jay needs to take a page from Johnny Carson’s book and retire with grace and style. Why not change careers? He could host a car show on SPIKE or play with animals on AP. His new tonight show didn’t fail because of the time slot. It failed b/c it was the Jay Leno Tonight Show an hour and a half earlier. No creativity. No real format changes. He could have done something like Carol Burnett but nooooo! He only knows how to do one thing.

  7. says

    I wish when Jay left that he didn’t come back personally, I mean I get that they had to give Jay the show because they sort of did shaft him on the contract before but I feel that its more of a slap in the face for Conan. He did earn that spot and because of Jay he’s in the same problematic situation. I thought it was odd when they said Letterman beat Conan in the ratings, he’s not even funny. However it’s like this: If no one watches Jay, they in turn don’t watch the news and thus Conan looses viewership. Well when it comes to the time aspect I doubt Conan would argue about it, I mean he’d probably move to midnight willingly.

    Jay would be kind of stupid not to move to the time offered if he wants anyone to watch him. Truth be told Jay’s show would only be a half hour which isn’t too bad in time. Most local news end at 11:35 or so, it’s not a big issue to wait until midnight to see Conan. I see it this way: If Jay does poor, well they’ll cancel him and return things to the way they should be / if not, well then it’s one more show added to the late night list. I really don’t get where NBC thought it was a good idea to put a comedy show on at 10PM where as we all know drama hails king.

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