Jay Leno’s move to 10 p.m. will be short-lived, according to TMZ.
The site is reporting that “The Jay Leno Show,” which currently resides in a 10 p.m. slot on NBC, will be placed on hiatus on February 1 and will return to its original time slot of 11:30 p.m. after the Winter Olympics.
The news comes after several months of declined ratings for Leno and reports of unrest among NBC affiliates, who have complained about the dwindling audience.
Unwilling to publically commit to a decision, NBC has issued a statement regarding the reports:
“Jay Leno is one of the most compelling entertainers in the world today. As we have said all along, Jay’s show has performed exactly as we anticipated on the network. It has, however, presented some issues for our affiliates. Both Jay and the show are committed to working closely with them to find ways to improve the performance.”
“The Jay Leno Show” premiered in its new earlier time slot on September 14 and saw record numbers on its first night with some 18 million viewers tuning in. The second episode, however, lost 40 percent of those viewers, with ratings trending downward since.
If NBC does make the move to shift Leno back to 11:30, there remains some question as to the fate of Conan O’Brien, who accepted ownership of “The Tonight Show” last June. “The Tonight Show” has also suffered from lower ratings since the departure of Leno, with its numbers dipping well below those during Leno’s hosting stint.