Citytv picks up new Leno

As Jay finally hands off The Tonight Show to Conan, and Jimmy steps in on Late Night, prime time is invaded by one of the late-night kings and his signature Tonight bits, and may never be the same...

Jay Leno may have stayed with NBC, but in Canada he’s crossed the aisle to Citytv. The five-station group said Thursday it has picked up The Tonight Show host’s new series – the as-yet untitled talker that is set to air weeknights at 10 pm starting this fall.

The Tonight Show, which Leno will soon exit after 17 years, airs here on the A channels, where it will continue in its usual slot following the arrival of new host Conan O’Brien.

The new Leno show has raised eyebrows in Hollywood, not least because it moves the late-night mainstay into prime time. The move has been viewed by some as a cost-cutting measure by NBC, and by others as a tacit admission that Leno’s audience has aged past the point that they will stay up past 11:30 pm.

The veteran funnyman will bring signature bits from his time at Tonight to the new show, including his wry readings of newspaper headlines.

‘This is a fresh viewing alternative with a proven host and big name guest stars that will entertain audiences nightly,’ said Malcolm Dunlop, EVP of programming at City’s parent, Rogers Media Television, in a statement. City also carries ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:30 am.

O’Brien takes over as host of The Tonight Show on June 1. He will be relieved as host of NBC’s Late Night by Jimmy Fallon on March 2. Late Night will continue to air here on the As at 12:30 am.

CBS’s The Late Show with David Letterman – seen here on the Rogers-owned OMNIs – will face O’Brien at 11:30 pm.

From Playback Daily