Digital News Report- NBC has announced that Jay Leno will be starting a new show in their coveted 10:00pm primetime spot five nights a week. Four years ago they announced that he’d be retiring from the Tonight Show and would be succeeded by Conon O’Brien of the Late Night Show, which aired after Leno’s own show.
Some have viewed this as a lack of confidence in Conan’s ability to carry The Tonight Show. He will be moving to Los Angeles to begin his show, which begins next May. However, they will be setting his show up in a new studio, while Leno gets to keep The Tonight Show’s original studio for his new primetime program.
Numerous studios, including Fox and ABC, attempted to court Leno for late night programming, which may have ran as competition against Conan O’Brien. This move will not only allow NBC to keep Leno and avoid backing out of their contact with O’Brien, but will greatly reduce their cost of primetime programming.