NBC Supposedly Replacing Leno with Younger Guy, But You Know How That Tends To Go
In a rare questionable headline to not give Jay Leno the giggles, The Hollywood Reporter claims "NBC Discussing Jay Leno Exit Plan," beginning new rumors that the longtime Tonight Show host could at last be passing on the torch, again.
Elaborating, THR adds that NBC categorically denies that there are talks of Leno leaving, but they nonetheless say "two high-level industry sources" confirm the network is indeed discussing Leno's exit and by May hope to have the courage to start telling anyone about it. Those same sources say Jimmy Fallon would then ascend to the Tonight Show throne, giving NBC stronger competition against the similarly younger-skewing Jimmy Kimmel, who in January moved up to 11:35.
Of course, as anyone old enough to remember four years ago will recall, this would not be the first time NBC has tried ruining your dad's falling-asleep-in-front-of-the-television routine by sending Leno Jaypacking. In 2009, they ousted the still somehow-popular host to give Conan the Tonight Show, hoping that--like with the supposed Fallon move--any loss of viewership would be made up for with younger audiences in that coveted "not feeble" demographic. Half a year later, Leno was smugly cruising his 10 o'clock car back to 11:35, Conan was $45 million richer but temporarily forced into unemployment, and NBC had gone down in history as making one of the worst bungles in their rich history of fucking things up.
Leno's people, meanwhile, won't comment on the matter, saying, "We do not speculate on rumor." Best to leave speculation to the realm of whether or not wacky eBay items will sell.