‘Leno’ Drops ‘Headlines’ as News Lead-In

By Andrew Gauthier 

Broadcasting & Cable

When NBC announced the format of “The Jay Leno Show,” the network made it a point to note that it would be turning the structure from “The Tonight Show” on its head. While it would start with a monologue, the network said Jay would save the signature comedy bits for the end of the episode in order to provide the strongest news lead-in for its local affiliates.

“The signature pieces people like such as ‘Headlines,’ ‘Jay Walking,’ those will be the pieces that bring us into the 11 o’clock news,” Leno said at the Television Critics Association Summer press tour in August. “We want to provide a strong lead-in for the 11 o’clock news.”


Indeed, since its launch September 14 launch, Leno has presented Headlines every Monday night as the last segment of the show.

However, on Monday, November 9, the show finally broke from that mold, and returned to a format much closer to that of Leno’s “Tonight Show.” As usual, the program opened with Leno’s monologue, followed by a commercial break. Then, just as on Tonight, Leno presented “Headlines,” less than 15 minutes into the program. That was followed by another commercial break, before welcoming Kathy Griffin on as his first guest. More…