Leno Looking Forward to Earlier Nights

NBC aims to snag viewers in prime-time experiment
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2008 2:37 AM CST

(Newser) – Jay Leno isn't losing any sleep over his upcoming exit from the late-night world, he tells the New York Times. The announcement by the Tonight Show host that he's moving to the 10 pm spot at NBC stunned many who expected him to switch to ABC. Leno's excited about the move, though is still working on the format for the program, which represents a big gamble for NBC officials hoping to snag late-night viewers earlier.

Leno's relieved that he won't have to be competing head-to-head with future Tonight Show host and friend Conan O'Brien, although he's still prepared to play hardball in the competition for guests. Did he consider switching to ABC? “I could have,” he said. “But then the mysterious sandbag falls on your head. I’m Italian. I know how this works.”