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O'Brien-Leno mess is fodder for Letterman

January 12, 2010 |  3:46 pm

NBC may not be smiling, but CBS' David Letterman sure is getting a lot of laughs out of the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien soap opera. Of course, this is familiar terrain for Letterman, who left NBC after losing the battle for "The Tonight Show" to Leno almost 20 years ago.

On the taping for tonight's show, he quipped that O'Brien issued his statement that he would not move "The Tonight Show" to 12:05 "after he talked to Johnny Carson." 

Letterman noted that with Leno expected to move back to late night, the network would need some new dramas. Here's his pitch:

Letterman can still poke fun at himself. Despite all the turmoil at his former network, he said, "I got a call just before I came out here from NBC, and they said, ‘Look, look, we still don’t want you back.’”

-- Joe Flint

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