Are Jay and Conan BOTH being canceled? Those are the rumors today as word spread like wildfire that NBC's 10pm slot would no longer host 5 nights of Leno. Apparently, his show upset NBC affiliates who complained their 11pm news shows were suffering due to poor lead-in ratings.
NBC reportedly gave Leno the 10pm slot this season both to cut overhead on costly original programming and to ensure he wouldn't leave for a rival network. Jay played off those fears tonight saying:
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KATIE COURIC, IT'S HER BIRTHDAY TODAY. SHE LEFT NBC FOR ANOTHER NETWORK. I HAVE TO GIVE HER CALL TO SEE HOW THAT IS WORKING OUT. AS YOU MAY HAVE HEARD, THERE IS A RUMOR FLOATING AROUND THAT WE WERE CANCELED. I HEARD IT COMING IN THIS MORNING ON THE RADIO. SO FAR NO ONE HAS SAID ANYTHING TO ME. BUT KEV, IF WE DID GET CANCELED IT WILL GIVE US TIME TO DO SOME TRAVELING. I UNDERSTAND THAT FOX IS BEAUTIFUL THIS TIME OF YEAR."
TMZ reported that Leno's show would go on hiatus following the Winter Olympics, and would not return. Instead he would reclaim his 11:30pm time slot given to Conan O'Brien after 17 years of doing "Late Night" at 12:30am on NBC. No one knows Conan's fate, but it doesn't look good for the newly appointed host.
"Hey Kev, what does NBC stand for? Never believe your contract," Leno quipped ominously.