Leno Headed Back To Old, Hour-Long Stomping Grounds Late-Night
Jay Leno has struck a deal to get his late-night hour back at 11:35 p.m. on NBC, a move that indicates Conan O'Brien is definitely off the line-up at NBC, according to a report at TMZ.
The site states that Leno had been guaranteed an hour under his Jay Leno Show contract for the 10 p.m. program, and that the expansion from a proposed half-hour late-night show back to his old hour-long slate addresses the issue for NBC.
Nikki Finke reports that O'Brien's people have not confirmed the one-hour move, but that NBC chief Jeff Zucker "is threatening to ice Conan," according to a Conan rep: "Zucker said, 'I'll keep you off the air for 3 1/2 years.'" She also reports that, ironically, NBC has touted O'Brien's recent ratings wins at the Tonight Show.
NBC could feasibly attempt to keep O'Brien off the air if he doesn't get with its program -- and he hasn't -- because he's still under contract with the broadcaster. O'Brien famously rejected being on-board with NBC's original plan to push the Tonight Show back to 12:05 a.m. Jay Leno's prime-time show will be shuttered next month.
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