By moving to primetime, Jay Leno has become the center of attention in NBC’s lineup. Although he seems to have taken the extra scrutiny in stride, he still wouldn’t mind being back in his old time slot.
In a recent interview with Broadcasting & Cable, Leno concedes that he would certainly entertain the proposition of moving back to late night. At 10pm, Leno is getting roughly the same ratings as he did during his tenure at “The Tonight Show” and this is admittedly a point of frustration for the host that helmed “The Tonight Show” for 17 years. “You just do what you have to do to get the situation better,” he told B&C’s Ben Grossman. “You just keep tweaking.”
Leno stresses that a move back to late night is really not his “decision to make” even though he often thinks about his time at the top of the late night ratings heap. “Would I have preferred to stay at 11:30? Yeah, sure. I would have preferred that,” he admitted in the interview.
Even though he has moved in front of the late local newscast, his famously strong relationship with NBC affiliates hasn’t changed. As many stations have seen their news ratings drop since the move, Leno understands that he must maintain a dialogue with affiliates. “They don’t see it as dire as a lot of people are making it out to be,” he said of recent conversations that he’s had with affiliates. “I think they seemed pleased that someone on at 10 o’clock is concerned about their well-being and their lead-in.” More…