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Jay Leno? NBC wanted Oprah or David Letterman
NBC is handing five primetime hours per week over to Jay Leno, a move the other networks have been mocking rather relentlessly for months. I turns out, though, that NBC has been trying to turn over a nightly block of primetime real estate for years.
According to Variety, NBC Universal head Jeff Zucker approached Oprah Winfrey two years ago about doing an 8 p.m. nightly show on the network, but that she declined. Going back as far as 10 years ago, the 8 p.m. hour had been offered to David Letterman.
Both Letterman and Winfrey obviously declined. Leno, after initial reservations, did not. The creatively titled "The Jay Leno Show" will air at 10 p.m. Mondays-through-Fridays this fall.