If tonight’s news proves true — that Jay Leno will stay with NBC and move to a prime time slot — new life has just been breathed into the once-left-for-dead Nightline.
The increasingly successful news show has been in jeopardy for months with the threat of Jay Leno leaving NBC and bringing his show to ABC late night when Conan O’Brien takes over “Tonight” June 1.
Nightline had its best November in seven years coming in second place, ahead of the the “Late Show with David Letterman” and coming within 20,000 A25-54 demo viewers of “The Tonight Show” — its closest finish in 14 years.
The election news certainly helped Nightline, but the threat of cancellation may have been incentive for producers and the anchor troika of Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran and Martin Bashir to work even harder to prove their worth.
The NYTimes reports NBC will announce the Leno prime time show tomorrow.
• Earlier on TVNewser / VIDEO: Cythina McFadden on Nightline’s fate: “I hope the people who make these difficult decisions think we should hang around.”