April 24, 2009, 3:15 pm
With Leno Ailing, ‘Tonight’ Is Canceled Again
By Bill Carter of NY Times
NBC canceled a second “Tonight Show” Friday because of the illness of Jay Leno, but the network said the show’s host was feeling better and would return on Monday. It said he probably had a stomach virus.
Mr. Leno told staff members when he arrived at his office Thursday that he was not feeling well. After some conversation with producers he decided to go to a hospital, and NBC showed a repeat on Thursday night.
Except for scheduled time off, Mr. Leno, famous for his work ethic, had never before missed a “Tonight Show” in his 17 years as host. The only other time he did not appear during a week when the show was in production was one day when he exchanged roles with Katie Couric, who was then a “Today” show host. She replaced him on “Tonight” after he replaced her that morning on “Today.”
For NBC, Mr. Leno’s health is more important than ever because he will start a new show in prime time five nights a week this fall. Mr. Leno was expected to return home from the hospital Friday afternoon.