Over the weekend, NBC decided that they were tired of hearing complaints from their affiliates about the terrible lead-in numbers their local news broadcasts were getting from "The Jay Leno Show," which is why Leno is moving back to his old time slot at 11:35 p.m., leaving "The Tonight Show" host Conan O'Brien either to let his get pushed a half-hour or leave the Peacock network altogether.
While O'Brien made some sideways references to the situation during his show on Friday, the Monday night version of his monologue was rife with shots at both NBC and Leno.
"Good evening, everybody. I'm Conan O'Brien, the new host of 'Last Call With Carson Daly,' " he joked at the top of the show. While it seemed like he was moving on after that, he went right back to the well after setting up a gag about a recent earthquake. "The earthquake was so powerful that it knocked Jay Leno's show from 10 o'clock to 11:35." (He followed that up with his impression of Leno.)
Not that he has much to complain about, but Leno also remained on the attack Monday night. "We're not a show anymore, we're a collector's item," he joked. "NBC said they wanted drama at 10 — now they got it! I take pride in one thing. I left NBC prime time the same way I found it: A complete disaster." Leno also noted in his monologue that his move to 11:35 isn't entirely set in stone.
The final episode of the prime-time version of "The Jay Leno Show" will air February 12, and Leno will return to the NBC lineup following the conclusion of the Winter Olympics. Whether O'Brien will once again be following him is a question that will be answered in the next few weeks.