How odd is it that perhaps the most exciting story in network television is not about “Lost”, “Fringe” or some other edgy, expensive small-screen phenomenon, but instead, about a veteran night time talk show host moving to prime time?
According to reports, NBC is set to announce today that Jay Leno, who relinquishes his “Tonight Show” gig next May, will get a new show at 10 p.m. each night “in a format similar to “The Tonight Show.”
This news comes as last-place NBC tries to cut costs during the economic slowdown. It wants to streamline creative decision-making. I suppose you can’t streamline it any more than putting the same gab-fest on every weekday night to compete with everything from legal and espionage yarns to hospital dramas and time travel shows.
But don’t sneeze at the idea: Jay Leno is a proven entertainer with a solid audience– more than can be said for sidelined shows like “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Lipstick Jungle.” Even better — the move may save NBC $200 million annually.
So what’s next? Three-nights-a-week of some kind of variety or singing competition? Wait, oh… nevermind.