Jay Leno on the “Tonight” set
As a close friend of Jay Leno’s told me recently, ‘Jay always says ‘The ‘R’ word is not in my vocabulary.’”
In short, the veteran comic and “Tonight” host is not yet ready to completely walk away from a regular TV gig. But unlike the highly-publicized — and embarrassing ousting of his first “Tonight” replacement (Conan O’Brien) — Leno has made it clear that won’t happen when Jimmy Fallon replaces him early next year.
However, the Hollywood Reporter is reporting Leno might end up at CNN, fronting a late night, or primetime program.
Jeff Zucker, who now is CNN Worldwide president, supposedly is among those who have made overtures to Leno to continue his TV career, post-NBC.
Leno’s obligations to the peacock network will end on Feb. 6, as NBC moves into its Winter Olympics coverage. After that, Fallon will take over the “Tonight” gig — but from his base in New York.