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late night

NBC Denies Rumors of Jay Leno Departure

President Barack Obama talks with Jay Leno, right, during a commercial break during the taping of his appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, in Burbank, Calif. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Battle for Late Night has been mostly quiet since Conan O'Brien switched to cable, but unnamed people tell The Hollywood Reporter that NBC is preparing its next attack. The network's target? ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live, which recently moved into the same 11:35 p.m. slot as the slimmed-down Tonight Show. "The more time Jimmy Kimmel is in that slot, the more the young audience goes that way," said a source. That person went on to say that NBC is planning to win back the youth with a May announcement that Jay Leno will be replaced with Late Night host Jimmy Fallon in the summer of 2014, when Leno's Tonight Show contract is up. Of course, it's difficult to imagine Leno leaving the air before his rival, David Letterman, whose contract also ends in 2014. Perhaps the old generation is ready pass the torch, but for now NBC says that the story is "categorically untrue."

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais