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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jay Leno's Last Show on "The Tonight Show" is Set Before Conan Takes Over!


Jay Leno Bows Out in May
Conan takes over 'Tonight Show' in June

NBC says it's still talking to Jay Leno about remaining with the network, but it's also set an end date for Leno's time on "The Tonight Show."

Leno's 17-year tenure on the show will end May 29, 2009, NBC announced Monday -- with help from the man himself. Like Jimmy Kimmel did last week, Leno put on a disguise (a bald cap and fake goatee, where Kimmel just had a cap on) and commandeered a microphone at the Television Critics Association press tour to pepper NBC co-chairmen Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff with questions.

"Is it true you offered Leno a fifth hour of the 'Today' show?" fake reporter Leno asked. "I know you brought back 'Knight Rider.' Any chance 'Manimal' will be coming back?" (For the record, the answers are no and, sadly, no.)

More relevantly, Silverman and Graboff announced that Leno's last "Tonight Show" as host will air Friday, May 29. Conan O'Brien will take over the show the following Monday, June 1. Jimmy Fallon will also take over "Late Night" sometime in the first half of next year. An on-air date for Fallon's first show hasn't been set, though producer Lorne Michaels says the plan is to stream episodes online before the show goes over the air as a way to let Fallon find his footing.

"'The Tonight Show' has a remarkable history rich in tradition. We're proud of each and every show Jay has shared with America as we look forward to Conan carrying on that outstanding tradition next year," NBC late-night boss Rick Ludwin says in a statement. "We also can't wait for Jimmy to showcase his winning style following Conan."

As for why NBC hasn't locked Leno down for something after "The Tonight Show," Graboff says it's a matter of finding the right thing.

"When we made the deal with Jay [that put the succession plan in place] four years ago, we made a long-term deal with him. We've been talking to him for pretty much that whole time about the future beyond 'The Tonight Show,'" Graboff says. "We can't force him to do something. We're presenting him with a number of opportunities that we think would be great. We're hoping he eventually thinks that they'll be as great as well."

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This site was created during Dec. 30, 2006 (Philippine Time) known as "Kapamilya Pinoy Blogspot" at first but the author decided to change it to "TV Craze," on 5:06 a.m., February 12, 2008 (Philippine time). KPB still exists but it serves as a portal to this site for those who embraced its name. The name may have changed but the contents are still the same.


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