It only seems yesterday that Jay Leno bit, kicked, and scratched his way back into the coveted late night position with The Tonight Show like a drunken real housewife clawing her way over a dining room table to grab her rival. After he'd been unceremoniously replaced by Conan O'Brien and ratings plummeted, Conan was soon out and Jay back in. But now sources are saying that this will be the square-jawed funnyman's last season. Poor Jay. I don't think he'd be giving this up willingly. His TV bosses must be up to their old tricks again.
Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Jay is expected to leave in May, when it will be announced that Jimmy Fallon will take over the Tonight Show duties. NBC brass apparently feel that Fallon will better be able to compete with Jimmy Kimmel, who moved to the same slot on ABC in January.
Leno's rep refused to comment on the "rumor." If he does get booted, this is pretty humiliating for Jay. I mean, NBC already dumped him once and then came crawling back. And now again? This is getting to be like a Justin-Selena/Rihanna-Chris Brown kind of thing.
At any rate, Jimmy Fallon will probably be a better fit for that slot than Conan O'Brien was. He turned out to be a bit too "edgy" for that particular audience. Still, if it doesn't work out, it'll be doubly embarrassing for NBC, which got skewered by viewers for their bad handling of O'Brien. Though the whole thing just served to make Conan O'Brien even more popular. Fallon is a good match for the "YouTube Generation."
And what's up with all of the male late night hosts? Can't anyone find a spot for a female host -- maybe Tina or Amy or Ellen or Whoopi or Maya Rudolph or someone like that?
Anyway, don't cry for Jay. He can retire to his life of multimillions and his fleet of classic cars.
Would you rather watch Jay or Jimmy or someone else?
Image via Alan Light/Flickr