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Heere's Leno, Coming at Ya Prime Time!

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Dec 09, 2008 | 6:20am EST

Jay Leno's leaving The Tonight Show, yes, but he ain't retired. Yet.

NBC reportedly signed Leno to a contract that will move him to a new prime-time slot at 10 p.m. every weeknight, according to the New York Times. The deal reportedly will be announced Tuesday.

The arrangement would enable NBC to hold on to Leno, who might have jumped to a competing network, and even been on the air as a rival to Conan O'Brien, who is expected to take over Tonight after Leno exits next May.

Apparently, this is also a way for NBC to cut some costs, especially in light of last week’s layoff of 500 employees. A five-a-week talk-variety format would be considerably cheaper to produce than most scripted dramatic series.

Leno, who took over Tonight from Johnny Carson in 1992, is effectively being evicted from its anchor desk under a deal NBC announced four years ago that guaranteed the job to Late Night host O'Brien, The Associated Press reports. O'Brien’s spot is being taken over by Jimmy Fallon.

We’ll need a flow chart to see how this will all work out.

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