NBC: Network Execs Want Jay Leno To Stick Around After ‘Tonight Show’ Firing


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Jay Leno will likely move to Fox after NBC boots him from ‘The Tonight Show’ in February. (Photo: NBC)

When pigs fly, maybe…

NBC execs say they are trying to woo Jay Leno to stay in the peacock family once they bounce him from THE TONIGHT SHOW — again — this winter.

“We have been having conversations, talking about various ideas” programming chief Bob Greenblatt revealed today during a meeting with TV reporters in Los Angeles. “Nothing would make us happier for Jay — ala Bob Hope — to have presence at the network.  We’re really hoping to do that post February.”

It would seem there is no way in Hell that Leno, 63, would want to stay in business with the same people he went to verbal war with just a few months back.

During one broadcast in March, the comic joked “Doctors in Canada were shocked after pulling a three-inch knife blade from the back of a 32-year old man. The knife had been in there for three years! Imagine that, the guy had a knife in his back for three years. He must’ve worked at NBC too. I was stunned by that.”

Then moments later, another zinger: “Have you heard about this alleged feud that I’m having with NBC? I think it’s going to be OK. This is real. I had dinner last night with a bunch of NBC executives. To make it up to me, what they did, they are sending my wife and I on an all expenses paid Carnival cruise.”  (At the time, the Carnival Dream had been stranded for days in the Caribbean with no working toilets).

Greenblatt finally admitted that talks about a late-night transition began when shortly after he joined NBC in early 2011.   Timing the switch to 2014 Winter Olympics was “to give Jimmy Fallon the best chance of succeeding” as Leno’s replacement.

“We predicted that we would see a boost [in ratings] when we announced this would be Jay’s final year,” Greenblatt said, noting, “The same happened with Johnny Carson…and Jay’s previous final year.”

Do you think Jay Leno should stay at NBC?  Would you?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at TheTVPage.com
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly