February 9, 2010, 1:05 pm
Without Fanfare, Leno’s Prime-Time Show Ends
By BRIAN STELTER of NewYorkTimes.com
“The Jay Leno Show” ends quietly on Tuesday night, only five months after it had its premiere in prime time to great fanfare on NBC.
Mr. Leno’s guests will be Ashton Kutcher, Gabourey Sidibe and Bob Costas.
Next month Mr. Leno is returning to “The Tonight Show” at 11:35 p.m.
Last year NBC positioned the 10 p.m. comedy show as a transformative move for broadcast television, but the ratings were mediocre, hurting the local affiliates who make money from their 11 p.m. newscasts.
On Tuesday’s finale, according to Variety, “the pomp and circumstance will be nil. That’s intentional, as NBC is trying to rehab the images of both Leno and ‘The Tonight Show.’”
“It’ll be workmanlike and efficient — the Jay Leno way,” MTV.com predicts.
NBC had planned to end Mr. Leno’s show on Thursday, but it moved up the finale by two days, most likely to capitalize on Tuesday’s big lead-in, “The Biggest Loser.”
In the place of “The Jay Leno Show,” NBC has scheduled reruns of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” on Wednesday and “The Office” on Thursday. The Winter Olympics begin on Friday.
It is the “end of an error,” the TV Guide Magazine critic Matt Roush tweeted Tuesday afternoon.