The Jay Leno Show won't disappoint Leno fans looking for more of the same, say critics, but the only thing new or ground-breaking about it is the 10pm time slot.
- James Poniewozik, Time: Leno and NBC aren't "out to win over critics who liked Letterman better. Instead, they're giving old Jay fans what they like—for far less dough than producing 10pm dramas—interspersed with enough of Whatever People Are Talking About Today to get a churning drive-by audience."
- Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe: "From the opening monologue and the overly scripted banter with guest Jerry Seinfeld (and, via satellite, Oprah Winfrey) to the goofy-headlines segment at the end of the hour, The Jay Leno Show was numbingly familiar."
- Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times: The show "promises to be better than, say, Rosie O'Donnell's mad flight into variety, but gosh darn it, at least Rosie took some chances," whereas Jay took none at all last night. "The best we can hope for is that The Jay Leno Show will get better, much better, or at least provide good fodder for Conan."