Several rumors were flying around on Thursday afternoon regarding the future of NBC’s Jay Leno Show and Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien, and TMZ is reporting that once the dust settles, Leno will be moved back to 11:30 p.m. while O’Brien will be … out of luck.
Following TMZ’s report, an NBC rep issued this vague but ominous statement: “Jay Leno is one of the most compelling entertainers in the world today. As we have said all along, Jay’s show has performed exactly as we anticipated on the network. It has, however, presented some issues for our affiliates. Both Jay and the show are committed to working closely with them to find ways to improve the performance.”
Clearly – even before Thursday’s burst of speculation – NBC’s late-night slate, once viewed as a possible game-changing lineup, is not working out as planned, and although Leno’s low ratings tend to be overstated a bit, a major change is in store (Leno himself could very easily be the odd man out, according to other reports).
That major change, however, might not be known until Feb. 1, when NBC returns to regularly scheduled programming following the Winter Olympics.
If it’s between Conan and Jay, who gets your vote to stay and go?