Thursday, January 21, 2010

NBC's Gaspin: Leno's new "Tonight" will be a "hybrid"

So Jay Leno will be back on "The Tonight Show" starting March 1. What will the new show be like? Presumably his most popular bits, Headlines and Jaywalking, will move back into the time slot, but what about the Green Car Challenge and the desk-less set? (It seems a pretty safe bet that 10@10 will be retired, since, duh, he'll be on at 11:30.)

NBC entertainment chair Jeff Gaspin told the Hollywood Reporter that Leno's "Tonight" 2.0 will most likely be "a hybrid. They're going to make some alterations to the studio to make it more intimate. There's elements of the current show they like, and there's elements from 'The Tonight Show' they'd like to bring back. I would be surprised if they didn't bring back the desk and a couch, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was a new desk and couch."

Gaspin doesn't rue the fact that Conan's profile, and his ratings, have been sky-high lately. "I would look at David Letterman's ratings currently," he said. "He had a huge pop during his scandal. If you look at his ratings now, they're below where they were before his scandal." Leno's "fan base is very strong and they will welcome him back."