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Leno Says Late-Night Debacle Wasn't His Idea (VIDEO)

by Donald Deane, posted Jan 19th 2010 10:30AM
Jay Leno took a moment during last night's 'The Jay Leno Show' to set the record straight on NBC's late-night shakeup, revealing that the programming debacle wasn't his idea and was instead caused by NBC execs.

According to Leno, he decided to leave 'The Tonight Show' and move to 10PM after being convinced by NBC this was necessary to retain Conan O'Brien on the network.

Watch the video after the jump.
Jay Leno took a moment during last night's 'The Jay Leno Show' to set the record straight on NBC's late-night shakeup, revealing that the programming debacle wasn't his idea and was instead caused by NBC execs.

According to Leno, he decided to leave 'The Tonight Show' and move to 10PM after being convinced by NBC this was necessary to retain Conan O'Brien on the network.

"[In] 2004 I'm sitting in my office, an NBC executive comes in and says to me, 'Listen, Conan O'Brien has gotten offers from other networks and we don't want him to go, so we're going to give him 'The Tonight Show,'" Leno said, adding that he was hesitant about moving to primetime, but that NBC was certain a 10PM program would be a success.

"Four months go by, we don't make it. Now, meanwhile, Conan's show ... was not doing well," Leno said. "[NBC execs] said, 'How about you do a half hour so at 11:30?' I said, 'OK, I'm not crazy about doing a half hour, but, OK." Leno also pointed out that NBC execs assured him O'Brien would have no issue moving 'The Tonight Show' back to 12:05AM.

Watch the video from TV's Top 5! below.


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