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Report: Leno to go prime time on NBC

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Report: Leno to go prime time on NBC
Talk Show Host Jay Leno talks with a young reporter as he arrives to the premiere of "One Two Many" in Los Angeles on April 10, 2008. (UPI Photo/Hector Mata) | License Photo

BURBANK, Calif., Dec. 8 (UPI) -- NBC is going to give Jay Leno a weeknight show in prime time beginning this fall, The New York Times reported Monday.

The announcement -- expected to take place Tuesday in Los Angeles -- comes five years after NBC said Leno would leave the network's long-running "Tonight Show," to be replaced by Conan O'Brien. Leno took over "Tonight" in 1993, following the retirement of host Johnny Carson, who set the standard for night-time talk shows.

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Leno -- whose new show reportedly will run in the 10-11 p.m. weeknight time lot -- is expected to sign a new deal with NBC providing a pay raise, Daily Variety reported. Citing insiders, Variety said Leno could earn $40 million to $50 million a year under a new deal.

If NBC programs Leno 5 hours a week, it would reduce the number of hours of dramatic, comedy and other programming the network would need to develop, Variety noted.

ABC and Fox were reportedly pursuing deals with Leno, the Times said.

Neither Leno nor NBC executives would comment on the report, the newspaper said.

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