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Jay Leno Off Primetime

Published January 11, 2010 in Television
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of respective holders, Variety
Jay Leno Jay Leno
It looks like NBC is done risking a perfectly good primetime slot to The Jay Leno Show. After seeing ratings decline since the opening episode, the network has decided to give the show a bit of a push... back.

The Jay Leno Show Shifts Out of Primetime

Which likely means a huge shake-up for late night programming at NBC. To ease the transition, The Jay Leno Show will be pulled from primetime by February 12th, when NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics begins.

"While performing at acceptable levels for the network, it did not meet our affiliate needs," NBC Universal TV Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin told reporters at NBC's portion of the TV Critics Assn. press tour. "We realized we had to make a change."

The change could mean that Leno will go on at 11:35 with his half-hour show and therefore be followed by Conan at 12:05. The push would also mean that Late Night with Jimmy Fallon will be pushed to 1:05. The real question is whether they keep Carson Daly on, who follows Fallon. Seeing that affiliate programming begins at 2:05 AM, it isn't likely.

"My goal is to keep Jay, Conan and Jimmy as part of the late night lineup," Gaspin said.

With Leno out of prime, Gaspin now expects to see a ratings bump this spring.

"It's going to cost more, but NBC is going to be fine," he said. "The ratings will go up and the revenue will go up."

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of respective holders, Variety

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