NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Jay Leno's may be looking to return to his late night time slot at NBC after ratings for his prime time show failed to materialize.
Leno moved to the prime time 10 PM time slot in September and after initially strong ratings, the iconic late night host has been struggling to hold on to 5 million viewers a night. Leno's low ratings have been a particularly sore point with local NBC affiliates as the 10 PM time slot is typically the lead-in for local news casts and many affiliates are citing ratings drops near 50%, The Christian Science Monitor reported.
"If this were a cable network where ratings were not so critical, then perhaps there would be patience with a show while it found its footing in a new time slot," Robert Thompson Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University told the Christian Science Monitor.
The experiment with Leno in a prime time slot appears to have backfired for NBC. The move was originally intended, in part, as a way to save money with Leno eating up 5 hours of prime time per week. With Leno potentially returning to his old time slot, NBC will have to now scramble to provide an additional 5 hours of content per week.
Leno's return to his former 11:35 time slot isn't even a sure thing – execs at NBC have reportedly refused to confirm or deny the time shot shuffle and TMZ is speculating that they may use the hoped-for boost from Olympics ratings to re-launch Leno at 11:35. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers