Leno would be happy back at 11.35pm
Comedian Jay Leno, now on air nightly at 10pm on NBC, would happily revert to his 11.35pm slot if the network asked him. “If it were offered to me, would I take it? If that's what they wanted to do, sure. That would be fine if they wanted to,” Leno told US trade mag Broadcasting & Cable.
In a long and candid interview that covered his current time slot, his thoughts on David Letterman’s current position and whether his contract might change if a new owner of NBC came along, Leno told B&C’s journalist Ben Grossman that he wasn’t surprised by the mostly negative press coverage of his show.
“No, not surprised at all. You don't take it personally because there's really no fun in an upbeat story. The fun is, they did this and let's watch it fall. I enjoy being the underdog….Right now we've reached a level [and] we're not going below that. The numbers seem to tell us people [who] are watching the show are staying the whole hour; that's a good sign. I'm told if we can keep a 1.5 [rating], they make $300 million a year; this is what they say. So we're a little above the 1.5, we're doing OK.”
On David Letterman, and his current personal dilemma, Leno was adamant that he would not trade places with Dave “for anything”.
Asked whether a new owner at NBC would make any difference, Leno joked: “There's an ownership change here every six months. ‘Oh, you're the new programming guy, good to see you! OK, thank you.’ Then the phone rings, ‘Hey Jay, I want you to meet the new guy. OK, good to see you!’ I've been through nine of them!”