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October 7, 2015


Rickey Minor to Replace Kevin Eubanks

by Andrew Scott, posted Apr 13th 2010 11:11PM
Rickey MinorNBC has tapped 'American Idol' music director Rickey Minor to replace 'Tonight Show' bandleader Kevin Eubanks, effective Mon., Jun. 7.

The news comes just one day after Eubanks confirmed that he will be leaving the 'Tonight Show' on May 28, ending a nearly 20-year history with the show.

"After 18 years, I just need a change of pace and see what else is going on," he told Leno during last night's 'Tonight Show' taping. "But it's a really difficult decision because this has become my second home."

Minor -- who will leave 'Idol' in May after three years with the show -- has served as musical director of a number of high-profile television events, including the Super Bowl, Grammy Awards and NAACP Image Awards. He's also worked musical artists ranging from Ray Charles to Beyonce.

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Kevin Eubanks Sets Final 'Tonight Show' for May 28

by AOL TV Staff, posted Apr 13th 2010 8:41AM
Kevin EubanksAfter months of speculation Kevin Eubanks is officially leaving the 'Tonight Show,' according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The longtime bandleader made the announcement during last night's episode, telling host Jay Leno, "After 18 years, I just need a change of pace and see what else is going on. But it's a really difficult decision because this has become my second home."

Eubanks -- who has been with Jay Leno since 1992 -- will wrap up his late-night tenure on May 28, with a replacement yet to be determined. (See our picks for who should replace Kevin Eubanks here.)

For more on this story, visit PopEater.

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Does Max Weinberg Want to Leave Conan for Jay?

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 7th 2010 7:27PM
Max Weinberg is on Team Conan... for now.Let's hear it for high profile defections. According to Movieline, rumor has it that longtime Conan O'Brien bandleader Max Weinberg is seeking the coveted position of bandleader for 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno', a role that is soon to be abandoned by Kevin Eubanks.

While it's somewhat understandable that Weinberg would want the position, it is a bit of a slap to Conan. On the other hand, it's all about what's best for Max Weinberg and while things with Conan are currently up in the air, 'The Tonight Show' is a pretty solid position to be in. Like it or not, there are still a lot of viewers on Team Jay and he continues to pull in ratings despite his brief absence from the 11:30 spot.

At least Weinberg would also now have a lot to talk about with Stuttering John Melendez, who defected to Jay from 'The Howard Stern Show' ages ago.

[via TVWeek]

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Who Should Replace Kevin Eubanks On 'The Tonight Show'? Our 8 Choices

by Steve Baltin, posted Feb 17th 2010 1:30PM
Kevin EubanksJay Leno may have got his coveted 11:35PM 'Tonight Show' time slot back, but he'll be looking for a new band leader shortly after he goes back to late night on March 1. Kevin Eubanks, the jazz guitarist who's been with Leno since 1992 and took over over for Branford Marsalis as band leader in 1995, is expected to leave the show sometime in March to resume his recording and touring career.

Since Leno and Eubanks teamed up in 1992, the ante has been upped tremendously for late-night musicians, with Conan O'Brien first bringing in E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg to head his band. And then Jimmy Fallon found the best part of his show, convincing revered hip-hop group the Roots to be the house group.

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Kevin Eubanks Quitting 'The Tonight Show'?

by Kona Gallagher, posted Feb 16th 2010 6:02PM
kevin eubanksMaybe he's on Team CoCo? Sources have told Extra that Kevin Eubanks, who has been Jay Leno's band leader since 1994, is quitting. Eubanks joined the 'Tonight Show' band in 1992, after releasing several albums. He followed Leno over to his primetime experiment, 'The Jay Leno Show,' but sources say that Eubanks is "ready for a change" and won't be returning to 'The Tonight Show' with Leno.

This news hasn't been confirmed -- in fact, NBC denied it to one of our fellow AOL writers -- so we have no further insight into Eubanks' alleged decision. TV Guide Canada is speculating that the recent Late Night Wars and the resulting instability has something to do with Eubanks leaving, which is understandable. Even though the folks who work for Leno made out better than those who worked for Conan, the constant moving around and uncertainty can't make for a pleasant working environment.

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Is Kevin Eubanks Leaving 'Tonight Show'?

by Allyssa Lee, posted Feb 16th 2010 5:00PM
Sorry, Darius Rucker: The reports stating that Kevin Eubanks would not be returning to 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' just aren't true -- at least for the next couple of months.

The infotainment show 'Extra' reported earlier today that Leno's longtime bandleader was leaving the show because he "wanted a change" and was hoping to pursue other opportunities.

And while the network confirmed to AOL TV that "Kevin has expressed interest in pursuing personal touring and recording opportunities," he "will be with the show when it returns" on March 1.

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Kate Gosselin Q&A on 'The Jay Leno Show' (VIDEO)

by Donald Deane, posted Dec 21st 2009 2:26PM
Kate Gosselin dished on her first act as a newly-divorced woman, her current favorite song and the slang term for foreplay with band leader Kevin Eubanks during Jay Leno's "10 @ 10" segment on 'The Jay Leno Show.'

Now that her divorce from husband Jon is final, Gosselin said her first planned activity as a single mother will be "baking cookies with the kids."

Watch the video after the jump.

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Our Favorite TV Sidekicks: They're the True Stars of the Talk Shows

by Liane Bonin, posted Nov 18th 2009 4:14PM
On June 23, 2009, the trademark laugh of the greatest sidekick of all time was silenced as Ed McMahon floated up to the great sidekick couch on the sky. While Publisher's Clearing House commercials and 'Star Search' reruns will never be the same, the good news is that McMahon, who rose up in the wake of some pretty stellar sidekicks himself, set the bar high for those to follow.

Perhaps he set it too high, though, as newcomers to the talk show field like Jimmy Fallon and Craig Ferguson have chosen to fly solo on their talk shows. And that's a shame. Like wine in a box and BBC America series, these straight men of the chat circuit are all too often underappreciated and overshadowed but consistently, inconspicuously deliver the goods.

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The Jay Leno Show: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 30th 2009 2:38AM
Julia Louis-DreyfusI'll give Leno credit for getting creative in the ways he's starting to incorporate celebrities into bits and segments. It fills time for him and gives them their plug opportunities. Tonight, he trotted out three of The Real Housewives of Orange County for a "Battle of the Jaywalk All-Stars Challenge." And ... wow.

I don't watch The Real Houswives of anywhere, but if this is the intellectual capacity of their "stars," then I'm glad I don't. I couldn't tell if they were putting on an act or if they were being themselves. Either way, it was obnoxious and I wanted to reach through the screen and strangle each of them. The blondes were enforcing stereotypes left and right!

If it was all an act, then that's even more unfortunate, because it means they're playing characters rather than being themselves. What? A reality show that's less than real? It was funny that their first reaction to seeing a picture of Nancy Pelosi was that she needed botox. And of course, they had no idea who she was, or anyone else.

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The Jay Leno Show: Halle Berry

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 18th 2009 1:00AM
Halle BerryI'm starting to get a feel for what these "comedy correspondents" are for. They'll be a recurring rotation of comedians on-hand to submit video shorts and provide comedy bits on the show. Basically, it's NBC coming through at least a bit on this being a "comedy" show instead of just a retooled talk show.

Unlike The Daily Show correspondents, Jay's correspondents are treated like guests rather than as a part of the show. Maybe, as time goes on and we see them over and over again, this will change. Perhaps they could even develop their own unique voice that we'll find ourselves looking forward to.

Tonight, D.L. Hughley went to speak to government representatives in California to talk about the sad state of the state's economy. From there, he wound up putting on a bake sale to save the state. So it was a bit like what would happen on The Daily Show after all.

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Fun Finds: June 13

by AOL TV Staff, posted Jun 13th 2009 12:00PM
Heidi Montag

-- Ever wonder how theme songs for shows like 'All in the Family' and 'The Golden Girls' came about? Now's your chance to find out [Neat-o-Rama]

-- Heidi Montag may think she's a feminist, but she definitely doesn't play one on TV. See 20 of TV's least feminist characters [Lemondrop]

-Speaking of Speidi, you may also want to read this list of dysfunctional TV couples [Your Tango]

(more fun finds after the jump)

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President Obama in for the toughest interview of his life ... Jay Leno?

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 16th 2009 1:04PM
Barack Obama on The Tonight ShowThe Tonight Show is the top-rated nightly talk show, which is why NBC got creative to keep Jay Leno on the air. What it is not, though, is a show to tune into for good interviews. At best Jay is a giggling buffoon. At worst Jay is ... a giggling buffoon. So it should allow for pretty free reign to talk about whatever he wants when President Obama appears on The Tonight Show this Thursday.

MSNBC says he'll talk about the economy. I know, right: That's some impressive journalism there. I was leaning toward comparing the tastes of the new Multi-Grain Big Rice Krispies and Marshmallow Rice Krispies. Personally, I think the former could use some of those marshmallows to soften the taste, but I'd really like the President's take on that.

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 30th 2007 3:32PM

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