With Leno Return, NBC Affiliates’ Confidence Renewed

By Andrew Gauthier 

Broadcasting & Cable

After months of lamenting the weak numbers Jay Leno‘s primetime program was serving up, general managers at NBC affiliates around the country are pleased with their Peacock partnership once again. The Olympics, of course, delivered blockbuster numbers, bolstered by what numerous affiliate managers say is NBC’s expert production of the Winter Games. The March 1 return of Leno to his old Tonight Show digs has also goosed NBC stations’ primetime and late-night ratings.

“It feels really good to be back in pattern, with Jay on after late news,” says WDIV Detroit VP/General Manager Marla Drutz, who runs one of the few stations where The Jay Leno Show found an audience in primetime. “These are the kinds of numbers we’ve been hoping for. It’s a win-win-win”-in terms of prime, late news and late night. More…