Jul 2, 2010 09:20 AM
Jay Leno's costly and embarrassing return to The Tonight Show was a gamble that hasn't paid off for NBC. Not only is he getting much lower ratings than he did before he briefly passed on the crown to Conan O'Brien, but he's getting lower ratings than Conan O'Brien did during his seven-month stint.
Although Jay routinely beats The Late Show With David Letterman, the new champion of late night is actually ABC's news magazine show Nightline.
Considering that Jay, who's got a two-year contract with Tonight, costs twice what Conan did, NBC may have the mind to terminate his run early (like they did with Conan) and go with a cheaper replacement.
But with Conan out, who would that leave? Jimmy Fallon?
Or would they try to pluck one of the other network's late night hosts, like Craig Ferguson or Chelsea Handler?