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Jay Leno reportedly leaving 'The Tonight Show' next season


UPI News Service, 03/02/2013 

The 2013-14 television season will be the last for Jay Leno as host of "The Tonight Show" in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Reporter quoted two sources as saying.

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Public confirmation regarding Leno's departure is expected to be made in May when "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon is announced as his successor on the 11:35 p.m. program.

"We do not speculate on rumor," Leno's representative told THR Friday.

The move is apparently being considered because NBC feels Fallon can better compete with the younger-skewing Jimmy Kimmel, whose "Live!" program ABC moved into the 11:35 p.m. time slot in January, the entertainment industry trade newspaper said.

NBC previously booted Leno, 62, as host of "Tonight" at the end of the 2008-09 season and gave the position to "Late Night" host Conan O'Brien to keep O'Brien from moving to another network. NBC then offered Leno a nightly, hourlong, 10 p.m. series, which kicked off in September 2009.

But when the prime time "Jay Leno Show" failed to be a strong lead-in for local news broadcasts, NBC announced it would push Leno's show back to 11:35 p.m., shorten it to 30 minutes and air "Tonight" at 12:05 a.m.

However, O'Brien said he would not remain on "Tonight" if it was bumped to 12:05 a.m. and left the network, paving the way for Leno's return as "Tonight" host in the traditional 11:35 p.m. time slot in March 2010.

O'Brien now heads up his own chat show "Conan" on TBS.


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