After days of speculation, NBC Universal Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin has confirmed that Jay Leno‘s last show in the prime-time slot will be on February 12, 2010. He acknowledged that The Jay Leno Show, on the air since September, “did not meet affiliate needs.”
The network will reshuffle the deck between Jay, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon. Negotiations are underway according to Gaspin, who said: “Throughout talks, Leno and O’Brien have been incredibly gracious and professional. It’s a private conversation that will continue on Monday.”
Things could get touchy with O’Brien, who was promised The Tonight Show in an effort to keep him from jumping to another network. Fallon took over Conan’s Late Show and could end up on the short end of the negotiations. Some have speculated that Leno will lead off at 11:30 p.m. eastern with a half hour show. Gaspin says, “Jay just wants to tell jokes.”
Check out a stunt that landed Conan in the hospital shortly after he took over The Tonight Show.
See video below.