LOS ANGELES NBC’s rebel Boston affiliate will carry the network’s new Jay Leno prime-time talk show after all.
A week after WHDH-TV owner Ed Ansin started a firestorm by announcing his plans not to air the show because it “will be very adverse to our finances,” he changed his mind.
“Upon further consideration, we have decided to telecast Jay Leno at 10 p.m. starting in September,” Ansin said in a statement. “Jay is from Andover, where I went to school. I enjoy his humor. We hope the new show is a big success.”
WHDH announced it would air a local newscast at 10 p.m., threatening to remove a top affiliate from NBC’s fall prime-time plans. NBC responded harshly, threatening to strip the station of its affiliation and warning of legal action. In addition, the station has received boycott threats from local Leno fans.
After issuing harsh statements threatening WHDH with stripping its affiliation a week ago, the network was conciliatory in its tone Monday.
“We are very pleased that WHDH will carry Jay Leno’s new prime-time comedy show,” said John Eck, president of the NBC TV Network. “We look forward to working closely with the station on a successful launch in Boston of this show, featuring one of the most bankable stars in the business.”
The station’s reversal reduces the likelihood of any other affiliate trying to defect from the network’s fall plans, though NBC says such incentive isn’t necessary anyway, and that other stations are enthusiastic about the plans.
Nellie Andreeva contributed to this report.