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Monday December 8, 2008 9:00 pm

Jay Leno Staying with NBC, Moving to 10 P.M.

Jay LenoWhat do you do when your network sucks, the economy sucks and your late night ratings leader is on the verge of leaving? Well - if you’re NBC, you simply restructure your whole schedule.

Although it was initially believed that we would be getting a start date for Jimmy Fallon’s new program today, the Peacock network apparently had much bigger news to deal with. Earlier Monday at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker got speculators buzzing about possible cutbacks in his network’s primetime programming. “Can we continue to broadcast 22 hours in primetime? Three of our competitors don’t,” Jeff said in Manhattan. “Can we continue to broadcast seven days a week? One of our competitors doesn’t.”

Hours after Zucker’s statement, the Peacock network announced a major decision for the its 2009-2010 season: they’ll be keeping Jay Leno around after all. (It’s always best to admit you’re wrong now than later.) But fans of Conan O’Brien shouldn’t be worried by the news; Leno’s presence won’t affect the redhead’s upcoming time shift. Instead of leaving Jay in his old slot, NBC will bring him into the primetime fold. Starting next fall, the 58-year-old will enter our homes at 10:00. (The network will now only have to worry about 17 hours of primetime programming.)

Read More | Variety

So what will this reduction all mean? Will a smaller quantity mean better quality programs? Will Jay’s “return” force Conan to find a new studio? Will viewers go elsewhere for original programming at 10 P.M.? Is Jimmy Kimmel somewhere out there breathing a sigh of relief right now?

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