‘Time’ for Change: Jay Leno Covers New Ground

by | September 3, 2009 at 3:49 PM | TV News

Jay Leno on the cover of Time magazine (Andrew Eccles/Time)

Jay Leno on the cover of Time magazine (Andrew Eccles/Time)

Jay Leno lands the cover of Time magazine, which blazes the headline: ‘Jay Leno Is the Future of Television. Seriously!’

I’m not sure how to feel about that, but NBC’s audacious late-night/prime-time transaction is certainly a wild throw of the dice.

“The logic behind it was, you get rid of someone while they’re on top, so the transition is easier,” says Leno. “I don’t really see that analogy in sports. ‘He’s scoring touchdowns, so we’ve got to get rid of him immediately!’ ”

The former ‘Tonight Show‘ host doesn’t believe in holding grudges, however, so he agreed to NBC’s plan to make Conan O’Brien ‘Tonight’s’ new leading man, and jokes, “Never fall in love with a hooker.”

Only time will tell how Leno’s, shall we say, consolation prizeThe Jay Leno Show‘ will do when it launches in the 10 p.m. hour, five nights a week, starting Sept. 14th.

“If the Leno Show works,” says former NBC president Fred Silverman to Time, “it will be the most significant thing to happen in broadcast television in the last decade.”

One would hope NBC has another trick up its sleeve as a back-up plan since that is one giant ‘if’ (and preferably one that doesn’t involve their remake fetish). Actually, they probably don’t.

~Get details on the new format of the remodeled show here.

~Jay’s first guest is pret-ty, pret-ty big!

~Check out the latest music legends on deck to perform.

~See what else you can look forward to this TV season in our Fall TV Preview Feature section!

‘The Jay Leno Show’ premieres Monday, Sept. 14th at 10 p.m. on NBC.