NBC confirms abandoning Jay Leno prime time show
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - NBC said on Sunday that it was abandoning its cost-cutting prime time experiment with talk show host Jay Leno, and was "going back to basics."
NBC Universal television entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin told television reporters that starting Feb .12, "The Jay Leno Show" would no longer air in its 10 p.m. slot.
"I can confirm that starting February 12, Jay Leno will no longer air at 10 p.m.," Gaspin said.
Gaspin said General Electric Co's NBC was in talks with Leno, and its other late night show hosts Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon about moving all their current shows to a later hour.
Gaspin said NBC had come under pressure from its local affiliates who complained audiences had dropped for their lucrative late news broadcasts because of the poor audiences for "The Jay Leno Show."
NBC, which is struggling in bottom place among the four leading networks, made the unprecedented move in September 2009 to replace traditional and costly drama at 10 p.m. with "The Jay Leno Show," which was cheaper to produce.
It was not immediately clear what shows NBC would run at 10 p.m. in place of Leno.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, Editing by Sandra Maler)