Wow! Despite a July USA Today interview in which he claimed “I am definitely done next year — with NBC,” Jay Leno will remain with the Peacock on his own nightly 10 p.m. talk show when he cedes his 11:30 slot and the Tonight Show to Conan O’Brien next summer, reports Vulture buddy Nikki Finke, who seemingly has Jeff Zucker’s office bugged these days. This comes after ceaseless speculation that Leno would move to ABC, which pretty much means NBC is paying him heretofore unimagined amounts of money. This is also terrific news for network wunderkind Ben Silverman who will have five fewer weekly hours to fill (and possibly fewer if Zucker follows through with plans to cut back on original programming) — rock and roll!
So who is this bad news for? Certainly Conan O’Brien, who, after a decade and a half of being the second-most-important star in NBC’s after-hours lineup, will have to move all the way to Los Angeles just to be … the second-most-important star in NBC’s after-hours lineup. But who is this really bad news for? Well, since this essentially just moves the network’s late-night schedule forward by an hour, Jimmy Fallon has just been demoted from the Next Conan O’Brien to the Next Carson Daly (yes, Last Call is still on weeknights at 1:35 a.m.). Also, come June, Carson Daly will officially only be as important as one of those infomercials for Proactiv Solution that currently airs after his show.
Earlier: Jay Leno Is About to Get Paid