Programming

Jay Leno Taking Over 10 P.M. On NBC

Jeff Zucker keeps Leno and O'Brien with Leno strip 12/08/2008 08:19:00 AM Eastern

In a surprise move, Jay Leno is taking over the 10 p.m. slot weeknights on NBC.
The move is a huge coup for NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker, who has long said he wanted to keep both Leno and his replacement, Conan O’Brien, in the NBC family.
The move would be a cost-effective manner in which to essentially cut down the amount of hours it must program with fare from the entertainment division. Jeff Zucker foreshadowed the move at a

UBS media conference

Monday, saying that

NBC has to look at options including programming less primetime hours.

It would be a much-needed victory for struggling NBC in the wake of

a massive round of layoffs

and

a re-organization of the entire way the network and studio are structured

as the network continues to languish in fourth place.
The move would also bring to an end a potentially messy transition in the coming year that had industry speculation centered on Leno potentially moving to ABC, which would set up a three-way brawl for the dwindling late-night dollars between Leno, O’Brien and CBS’s David Letterman.
Leno’s start date is undecided, but expected to be by next fall.

March