It Happened: NBC Signs Jay Leno to Hourlong Tonight Show

The writing has been on the wall for Conan O'Brien this week, but that won't make this news any sweeter for him to hear: TMZ is reporting that NBC and Jay Leno just signed a deal to give Leno back The Tonight Show. For a full hour.

The news comes just hours after Hollywood buzz had O'Brien booking guests for a farewell tour next week.

So, to recap: Leno's taken back O'Brien's show and timeslot, and there's still no word on where O'Brien will go next -- or whether NBC will keep him on ice as part of what will presumably be a hefty payout.


Leno and NBC Strike 1 Hour Tonight Deal [TMZ]


  • OldTowneTavern says:

    It's not a matter of being offered a job. It's a matter of wrestling a job out from under someone else... twice. He did it to Carson, now he's doing it to Conan. The man has a problem.

  • Marin says:

    I love all the comments supporting Jay's return b/c of Conan's lower ratings for the 7 months he's been on the show. An HUGE part of why Conan's ratings were lower were BECAUSE OF JAY'S CRAP 10:00 SHOW. How do people not get this???

  • Some guy says:

    Jay Leno is a true scumbag. NBC approached Conan with this deal 5 years ago. For Jay Leno to do this now is truly low and shows how much of a corporate robot Jay really is. Shame on the cowardly NBC execs that agreed to this. I can't wait until his ratings plummet so we can watch Jay squirm.

  • slimer says:


  • Jamie says:

    NEWS FLASH: NBC management should be fired immediately to save the company.

  • Fernando says:

    By the way did anyone see the January rating numbers for Conan (pre-scandal) released today? Coco's ratings were rising nicely, even with the absolute hinderance of Leno's turgid 10pm show.

  • slimer says:


  • Ben says:

    In these circumstances? Absolutely I'd turn it down. Maybe you're a classless dickhead who wouldn't do likewise, but please don't tar the rest of us with your shitty, shitty brush.
    It's not like they were competing for the gig and the best man won. Jay said he would leave! He agreed to allow Conan to be his successor. Having left, he has now SABOTAGED Conan's prospects and CONSPIRED against him to get his OLD JOB back!
    Leno is making an absolute fool of himself. He has shown the whole world just how much of a vacuous, unethical pig he is, all while shrugging his shoulders and saying 'aw shucks'.
    I am not buying what you or he are selling.

  • OldTowneTavern says:

    What I want to know is, what the hell kind of cologne does Leno wear that causes NBC to make such fools of themselves over him? It must be some seriously funky musk off an animal from the Antarctic that no one else can find, because I can't see why else NBC can't possibly imagine life without him.
    NBC -"Oh, Jay. It's you? I was hoping you'd stop by. What? You want The Tonight Show? But Johnny's not done and then there's Dave in the wings and [Jay waves his fragrant wrists in front of NBC] ... wait. Wait. Don't go. Okay. Okay. The Tonight show it is."
    NBC- "Oh, Jay. Look you're doing great in the ratings, but Conan might leave us and take up really lucrative offers if we don't give him The Tonight Show. ... But, the young people and advertisers... [Jay absent-mindedly spritzes something into the air]. Wait. Wait. Don't be like that. It's years from now. And we'll work something out. Promise."
    NBC - "Oh Jay. Okay, now. Don't pout. We all agreed that this was coming. What? I don't know. 10 pm is for dramas. I just don't think...[Jay stretches out his arms and dabs on some deodorant] Okay. Okay. It's bold. I like it. Good one, Jay! This will be sweet! " [NBC nuzzles Jay's arm pits]
    NBC - "It's not us, Jay. Swear. It's the affiliates. [NBC's voices gets increasingly high pitched] They're going to replace us with Hogan's Heroes, man! Well, what do you want us to do? There's no room. What? But the man moved a wagon train of people across country, busted his head on our stage floor and still kept rolling. We can't do him like that!" [Jay pulls a chain to a bucket over his head, splashing cologne all over his body. NBC breathes heavily.] "Okay, leave it to us, man. We know what to do. We got this. You just keep doing what you're doing, man. I like how you arched your back like that. That was good."

  • JM says:

    True. Though having dealt with my fair share of idiotic overlords, it doesn't exactly create a great environment to go back to, esp. with this much vitriol flying around. If Conan were able to stay, he'd have to hope Comcast slaughters the execs when/if that deal gets finished. If he goes, I think he could do a great show after Stewart/Colbert @ 12 on Comedy Central or work at something else.

  • JM says:

    About as long as they have left at their jobs.

  • SunnydaZe says:

    "Connan's" ratings suck because HE DOESN'T EXIST.

  • mtnmchgrl says:

    How do I find out a list of people that advertise with NBC? I tried to do that yesterday with no luck.

  • mtnmchgrl says:

    I beg to differ, lady. I am 30 years old and I have been watching Conan since I was in high school. I am a college graduate. I am not a "KID" and i think Conan is and always has been the funniest and classiest host on television. Jay Leno is HORRID, Dave is funny but too crass for my liking. Its all a matter of opinion, anyway. Doesn't mean anyone is stupid for liking Conan.

  • mtnmchgrl says:

    Exactly, Marin. I am hardly a pot smoking non spending child here and I think he is a genius writer.

  • Daft Clown says:


  • Jay's a scuzbag jerk butthole anus licking terdface. I hope Conan goes to fox, he'll have a better show there anyway.

  • tim says:

    bye conan!

  • Mike S. says:

    Any way you look at it, it's all a big, fat, ugly mess over at NBC. Just watch what will happen next, right after Conan leaves NBC. Jay Leno may flop on his "Crazy & Unusual" comeback to the Tonight Show, and somewhere down the line, there may be a whole entire cancellation of "The Tonight Show" on NBC with nobody else to fill the BIG gap between 11:35pm and 12:35am (EST)?
    Who knows? This just might be the end of a very long running NBC late night talk show. David Letterman may have the last laugh on this imploding fireball controversy.

  • jacob james says:

    did Jay Leno and NBC already do this to Letterman, he was supposed to get the atonight Show after Carson retired. And now they're doing it to Coco, how dare they, Conan should go to Comedy Central, with Stewart and Colbert, that line-up would be so funny. Go Zuck yourselves Leno and NBC!!!

  • Brenda Jones says:

    I say if it's not broke don't try to fix it. Jay was the King of late night and Conan ruled late late night. I embrace Jay's return and wish Conan the best. I pray Conan received a great big payout. The guy moved his family and staff from the east to the west...that's just not fare and bad business for NBC. Conan don't take it. NBC =NO BULL CRAP!

  • Gabe says:

    I'd say I'm going to boycott The Tonight Show but that's not entirely accurate, I'll just go back to not watching the terrible show that was The Tonight Show with Leno.
    Maybe his crap jokes fly with the elderly crowd but I just don't get how anyone under 60 can think it's funny.

  • cass says:

    i just don't get it. the only appeal leno had as a talk show host is that he seemed nice...he hasn't been funny or entertaining to watch for years...seems he isn't even nice...his jokes and his pauses remind me of old-school, lame, bob hope style jokes that are often dated to boot...and, quite simply, produce eye-rolling rather than laughter from most people with a decent sense of humor. are all the execs at NBC old? because i don't know no anyone...not one my world, from teens to my boyfriend to my friends to my 76 year old dad that finds anything he does worth watching. and we won't be. good for you NBC're really messing this one up. i'll enjoy the aftermath when leno's ratings suck when he returns.

  • JOE says:

    From a macro standpoint, this is an unmitigated financial disaster for NBC with each of the principle parties guilty of contributing to the mess. No party will escape unscathed, though Jeff Zucker's decision to try and keep Conan off the air for the next three years, will turn Conan into a cult hero and Fox, his next employer will get rich off Conan's new found status, with ratings that will skyrocket in a way Conan was unable to ever deliver on the Tonite Show.
    Leno should have retired gracefully after his 2 decade run, and now appears to be late nite TV's Brett Favre who can't or won't leave center stage gracefully. He obviously never read Thomas Wolfe's You Can Never Go Home Again nor understands the concept that few sequels do well. He shamelessly proves the idiom that one need to be protected more from 'friends' than from enemies.
    Leno's audience at 11:30 has blown up. His old fans have moved on to Letterman or fell in love with Conan. Conan's fans will never support what they see as shameless treachery. Leno will be lucky to capture a quarter of his old ratings and I am afraid he will become as sad as the sight of an Old enfeebled Willie Mays tripping all over himself to catch a routine pop fly in centerfield of the loser NY Mets.
    Zucker has now screwed up Prime Time and all of late night Television for NBC. Wow GE must be glad they got rid of NBC just in time.

  • Boricua in Texas says:

    Really? Well, whippersnapper, just so you know I'm 41 years old and I find Conan hilarious and Jay a colossal bore.