Jay Leno to move on from Tonight Show

Alexis Baker ('11)

Since 1992, Jay Leno has hosted the “Tonight Show” on NBC at 11:35 pm. However, with time, situations change and Leno’s contract is up in May of 2009.Starting next fall, Leno will have a primetime talk show at 10 pm on Mondays through Fridays. Conan O’Brien will be taking over the “Tonight Show” with an effort to increase viewership among the younger demographic.

There will be a time shift in the television shows on NBC after this goes into effect. For example, Law and Order: SVU will most likely move to 9 pm.

Perhaps you’re asking why NBC has made this choice. It’s all about the finance of the network. Considering that the cost of his show is a fraction of what other stations pay for dramas in that time slot, which amount to approximately $15 million a week, Leno’s show is estimated to cost 2 million dollars per week. Also, NBC is going to receive more weeks of original programming.

According to the New York Times, “…because ratings have decreased and costs are becoming more critical, NBC could reap an enormous financial benefit from this move.”

The NBC network isn’t the only one ready for this change. Leno is all for it also. “It just seems like after 17 years of being on ‘The Tonight Show,’ it’s fun to try something different,” he said.