It came in with promotions on the cat food aisle at Vons supermarkets, and it goes out with its tail between its legs. The Jay Leno Show finale is tonight with guests Ashton Kutcher (Valentine’s Day) and Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) and “10 at 10″ with NBC Winter Olympcs host Bob Costas via satellite from Vancouver. The fact is Jay can’t get out of 10 PM primetime fast enough to satisfy the beleaguered NBC affiliates who threatened to mutiny and preempt his show. That’s what started NBC’s late night re-shuffle in the first place.
NBC will use the Olympics starting Friday to heavily promote Jay’s March 1st return to The Tonight Show . In the meantime, the Leno Show set will get a makeover, and I’ve heard that a desk was picked for the host’s return before the ink was even dry on his latest contract. There’s also a mean-spirited rumor being emailed that NBC has packed the first week Leno is back with an audience consisting mainly of paid extras from Central Casting who will cheer and laugh extra wildly. Ouch!