Entertainment behind the scenes
It’s the end of an era in “beautiful downtown Burbank” this week as Jay Leno takes leave of “The Tonight Show” after 17 years as host — only to return to the same TV studio lot a few months later with another show that sounds a lot like the old one but at 10 pm instead of 11.35 pm.
So the question is not so much how much Leno will be missed, as how many of his fans will follow him to the earlier time slot, and how many new fans who couldn’t manage to keep their eyes open until midnight will now tune in for “The Jay Leno Show” before going to bed in the fall.
Once Leno gets his feet under the desk of his new set, NBC viewers will have three hours of jokes and celebrities pushing their latest book/movie/project/TV show five nights a week as Conan O’Brien and then Jimmy Fallon follow Jay.
Is that too much funny business, even in the grimmest of recessionary times? Will you choose the Leno monologue over “CSI”, “Fringe” and “Private Practice” — not just once but five nights a week in the fall? We’re curious. Is Jay ready for prime time?