More 'Leno' reports: Back to late night?
UPDATE: Just as it's committed to improving the Leno show, NBC says in a statement that it's also committed to keeping Conan O'Brien around. The network's statement:
"We have the best comedy team in the business. We remain committed to keeping Conan O'Brien on NBC. He is a valued part of our late-night lineup, as he has been for more than 16 years, and is one of the most respected entertainers on television."
Which doesn't really say a whole lot about either show. NBC executives Jeff Gaspin and Angela Bromstad will be facing a lot of questions when they meet TV critics on Sunday.
Original post below.
NBC is thus far keeping quiet about a new report that says "The Jay Leno Show" is not long for primetime.
TMZ says that the network has decided to move Leno back to his old home at 11:30 p.m. weeknights, and that it's told both Leno and "Tonight Show" host Conan O'Brien about its plans. Still to be decided, the site says, is whether Leno will reclaim the "Tonight Show" desk or if his show will lead into O'Brien's.
The story follows a report earlier in the day from a site called FTVLive that Leno's 10 p.m. show was on the verge of cancellation. NBC issued a statement in response to that report saying it's committed to "find ways to improve the performance." NBC reps hadn't responded to requests for comment on the TMZ story prior to posting time.
The latest story says that Leno will go on a hiatus Feb. 1 -- 11 days before his show, and the rest of NBC's prime-time schedule, is sidelined for the Winter Olympics, which run from Feb. 12-28. He would move back to late night on March 1, according to TMZ.
Still unanswered is what would move in to fill the 10 p.m. slots on weeknights. NBC doesn't have much scripted programming in reserve -- its lone new midsesason drama, "Parenthood," is taking over for "Heroes," which ends before the Olympics -- and plugging in "Dateline" or other short-term fixes won't really do much to help the current situation.
If Leno does move back to "The Tonight Show," NBC would also owe O'Brien a whole lot of money.
We'll relay any updates from NBC as they come in.
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Report says 'Leno' is done, NBC denies it
Photo credit: NBC