Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien is reportedly furious over the move of Jay Leno back to late night, which will push his show even later into the wee hours of the morning. NBC announced they would be moving Jay Leno to the 11:35 p.m. slot on the network, shoving The Tonight Showwith Conan O’Brien to 12:05 a.m.
Conan O’Brien was allegedly stunned and furious over the announcement his show would be knocked to a later time slot, according to the New York Post. â€œThis level of sh–iness was not expected. Heâ€™s done a great job for NBC. He moved his entire staff, he moved his family to LA,” an unidentified ‘insider’ told the Post. “And five months later, they repay him like this?â€
NBC head Jeff Gaspin said the network hopes to keep Leno, O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon all on their late night lineup. They may not get their wish. Conan O’Brien is reportedly in talks to possibly jump to a rival network, according to The Wall Street Journal. Fox, in particular,Â has reportedly been courting O’Brien heavilyÂ for a late night program.
Conan O’Brien’s rep issued a statement saying that the late night comedian “has made no decisions yet” about his future with NBC.
NBC confirmed on SundayÂ Jay LenoÂ will be moving back to late night on Feb. 12. The Jay Leno Show has suffered from severely low ratings in its current 10 p.m. slot and NBC is hoping the move back to late night for Jay Leno will bring the comedian’s fans back into the fold.
“I can confirm, starting Feb. 12, The Jay Leno Show will no longer air at 10 p.m.” NBC Chairman Jeff Gaspin said in a press conference on Sunday. “While [Jay Leno] was performing at acceptable levels for the network, it did not meet our affiliates’ needs and we realized we had to make a change.”
The move of Jay Leno back to late night will cause major disruption for NBC’s other late night shows. The network insists, however, they hope to “keep Jay, Conan [O’Brien], and Jimmy [Fallon] as part of our late-night lineup.” Gaspin said he has spoken to all parties involved and “proposed that The Jay Leno Show move to 11:35, The Tonight Show with Conan Oâ€™Brien to 12:05, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon would then start at 1:05.” Gaspin added, however, that “it’s not a done deal yet.” Leno will reportedly be replaced at 10 p.m. with “two hours of scripted, another reality hour and combination of expanded Dateline or repeats.”
Conan O’Brien reportedly has several other networks interested in picking up his late night show if he’s not pleased about being shoved to a later time slot. NBC hinted that O’Brien would not be abandoning the network despite rumors to the contrary. “Conan’s motivation will become more clear as time goes on,” Gaspin said cryptically.
As for Last Call with Carson Daly? Gaspin said NBC wants him to remain a part of the network, but right now there seems to be no place for the show in the new late night shakeup.
In his opening monologue Thursday night, Jay Leno addressed rumors about The Jay Leno Show being cancelled by NBC.Â Leno joked about calling Katie Couric to see how her move from NBC to another network is working out for her.
LenoÂ went on to mock his own host network a bitÂ byÂ saying NBC only cancels shows when “they are in first place” and opined that NBC stands for “never believe your contract.”
The rumors of a drastic change for The Jay Leno Show continue to swirl, however. The latest gab roaming the Net is speculation NBC may move Leno back to the old Tonight Show 11:35 p.m. spot – pushing Conan O’Brien to 12:05 and Jimmy Fallon to 1:05.
NBC has no plans to cancel The Jay Leno Show despite failing ratings, according to a statement from the network. NBC issued a response to rumors of a cancellation on Thursday, saying the network is hoping to improve the show to garner more ratings.
FTVLive.com cited unidentified sources Thursday morning saying NBC might be closing down The Jay Leno Show shortly after the Winter Olympics because the network considered it a “failure” for its lack of ratings and inability to bring in profits.
“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,” NBC said in a press statement Thursday. “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.”
So, basically, NBC is saying that The Jay Leno Show‘s rather pathetic ratings are exactly what they expected from the show? If so, the powers-that-be at NBC really need to raise their expectation levels before they end up putting even worse crap on the air.