Everybody thought Jay Leno at 10:30 p.m. was an odd television experiment when it was first announced -- and now it's over. Roll credits.
After one of the more strange programming moves in recent memory, TMZ says Jay Leno is moving back to his coveted 11:30 p.m. time slot on NBC. But here's the intriguing part: It could mean Conan O'Brien will lose his own show on the Peacock Network.
"We've learned Jay's 10 p.m. show will go on hiatus February 1," TMZ reports. "After the Olympics, Jay will take back his 11:30 p.m. time slot. What has not been decided -- whether Jay's show will be a half hour, followed by Conan, or whether Jay's show will be an hour and NBC says sayonara to Mr. O'Brien."
Leno's retirement from the famed Tonight Show gig was one thing, but immediately starting a "new" quasi-talk show -- that resembled his old one in many ways but fizzled faster than Alka-Seltzer -- was an ill-conceived concept. Seriously, why would you put Leno on right before his new replacement on the very same network doing essentially the same type of show?
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Likewise, O'Brien's brand of quirky humor quickly alienated middle-aged fans who comprised the backbone of the Tonight Show's audience and had grown comfortable with Leno's "middle American" jokes.
Fighting off a barrage of second guessing, it seems NBC is finally pulling the plug on an experiment that was never a good fit. Now we'll find out what it means to Conan O'Brien's job status and career.