Jay Leno just repeated jokes from his Tuesday press conference on his show last night, except to say about the buzz he was finalizing a jump to ABC, “those were rumors started by a disgruntled employee — me.” But Jimmy Kimmel spoke on air about the near deal that wasn’t — and how he almost got screwed by his network president: “This has been an exciting day in the world of late-night television. I’m not exactly sure of all the details, but I read in the newspaper today, and I think I’m the new host of The Tonight Show. Am I? Not positive. People have been asking me all day what’s going on with this Jay Leno thing. If you haven’t been following the story, NBC, a few years ago, decided that in 2009, they would replace Jay Leno on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. They figured Jay would retire, but Jay can’t retire because he’s got like 185 car payments to make. So he has to work. Recently people began speculating that once Jay got pushed out at NBC he would come here to ABC, which would mean we would be pushed back deep into the night. But last night they surprised everyone by revealing that Jay will stay at NBC and do a show in prime time at 10 o’clock every night. Which I assume means he’s not coming here — which also means that I let him shower with me for no reason at all. They say this could bring NBC the one thing it is currently lacking in primetime — which is anything at all. Although it is probably bad news for my write-in campaign to save Lipstick Jungle. I think I’m going to have to give that up. I’m not going to lie: I feel like a huge chin has been lifted off of my shoulders. I want our loyal viewers to know that I spoke to the president of ABC this morning and he assured me that, unless something better comes along, I will be on this network for many years to come.”
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