The network Tuesday confirmed Leno is to be the host of a new comedy/talk show on NBC five weeknights a week in primetime, beginning in the fall of 2009 and originating from Burbank, Calif.
The announcement was made by Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff, co-chairmen of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.
Leno's new show, which will begin after Conan O'Brien takes over his gig at "The Tonight Show" next June, will be the first-ever entertainment program to be stripped across primetime on broadcast network television, NBC noted.
"As broadcast television continues to change, success demands a new paradigm," Jeff Zucker, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "For the past few years, we've been very vocal about two things: Transforming broadcast television for today's media landscape, and keeping Jay at NBC. In this one announcement we have done both. It's great for NBC, for our viewers, and for our advertisers."
"Jay has played a major role in defining NBC's brand of high-quality entertainment," said Silverman. "The 10 o'clock hour will bring Jay a whole new audience and provide a great lead-in both for our local affiliates and for Conan O'Brien, the next great host of 'The Tonight Show.'"