NBC confirms that Jay Leno is now officially moving back to his 11:35 PM time slot. NBC Universal TV Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin said, “I can confirm that starting Feb. 12, ‘The Jay Leno Show’ will no longer air at 10 PM.” Gaspin insists the show was performing at “acceptable levels” and they were making money off it, but added, “While it was performing at acceptable levels, it did not meet our affiliates’ needs. My goal right now is to keep Jay [Leno], Conan [O'Brien] and Jimmy [Fallon] as part of our late-night lineup. As much as I’d like to tell you we have a done deal, we know that’s not true.”
No word on if Conan is going to agree to this or walk. TMZ says he has three options:
1) Quit the show and be paid the value of his contract for the next four years. Conan might bank $80 million with this option.
2) Jump to FOX or ABC. If he does so, NBC won’t have to pay him his entire contract, but will have to pay his old contract less his new contract.
3) Take the 12:05 – 1:05 time slot. With this, NBC would negotiate a new contract with the same salary he was getting before. This would be cheaper than paying him off. Obviously, NBC prefers this because Conan wouldn’t be drawing viewers away from Jay Leno.
Although, I think option 4, my option, would be best. Option 4 is just a combination of option 1 and taking a crap on Jeff Gaspin and everyone else’s desks and giving them the finger while they look on in shock. I don’t handle stress very well.