NBC Trying to Keep Leno Around After Fallon Replaces Him

NBC is apparently trying to figure out a role for Jay Leno at the Peacock network after Jimmy Fallon replaces him as host of the Tonight Show in February.

NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told the Television Critics Association's summer tour Saturday that Leno could be like the network's new Bob Hope.

“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,” Deadline reported Greenblatt saying.

Greenblatt also dismissed any notion of Leno being kept in his current role given the fabulous ratings he's enjoyed in recent months.

“We predicted that we would see a boost when we announced this would be Jay’s final year,” Greenblatt said, adding, “The same happened with Johnny Carson and Jay’s previous final year."

This apparently evoked laughter from the audience.

As readers are likely aware, it was reported earlier this month that Leno killed competitors David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel in ratings in the second quarter.

It therefore makes sense to keep him around - although in this media critic's estimation, Leno should stay right where he is.

Of course, the question on everyone's mind is if Leno will consider moving to another network to compete with Fallon, Letterman, and Kimmel.

Much speculation has surfaced that Fox would love to nab the 63-year-old and put him on at 11PM to get a jump on the other three.

There may be some local station problems with such a move, but one quite imagines affiliates falling in line to acquire such a valuable property.

What will Leno be doing in March 2014?

Stay tuned.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.