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Jay Leno hits the prime time

December 9, 2008 |  1:57 pm

Jayleno The show will go on for Jay Leno.

NBC officially confirmed Tuesday what the entertainment press had been reporting all weekend: Beginning next fall, Jay Leno will have a comedy show that will air five nights a week at 10. Five years ago, NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker arranged for Leno to hand off "The Tonight Show" next May to Conan O'Brien. But that didn't mean NBC didn't want to be in business with Leno, said NBC Entertainment co-Chairman Marc Graboff during a press conference on Tuesday.  Graboff added that Zucker has been wooing Leno for a long time.

Leno, who attended the conference, said he does not want to stop working and, although there has been a lot of interest from rival networks to land him, he'd rather stay on familiar ground.

"I'm still in my first life," Leno said. "I'm comfortable with all of the people I work with. And it just makes it easier."

Leno said his new show will begin with a monologue and will include sit-down chats with guests but will spend more time on the street.

"We would not have done this with anybody but Jay Leno," Graboff said.

-- Maria Elena Fernandez

(Photo courtesy NBC)

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