One week from today, Jay Leno returns to NBC in primetime.
'The Jay Leno Show’ will debut at 9 p.m. our time and all week, we’ll be looking ahead to Leno’s debut.
Leno explains some of what’s behind his move to primetime.
When Jay Leno took over "The Tonight Show" in 1992, he knew it wouldn’t be forever.
Leno says, "They said at some point, they're probably going to ask you to leave while the show's still hot."
That’s why, in 2004 NBC lined up Conan O’Brien to take over this year.
But as that move drew closer, Leno realized he wasn’t ready to top doing a daily show.
He says, “Just being on the road and seeing how well the personal appearances do and things of that nature, there still seems to be some time left here, so let's see what else is out there."
But with NBC committed to Conan, other networks were prepared to give Leno a new show.
He says, “I didn't want to go to another network, because that's always perceived as like you're bitter or you're going against your old boss, and when you're with a network as long as I've been, it's like a marriage. You try to make it work."
So, NBC came up with the idea of a nightly comedy show. It would keep Leno away from the competition, be an alternative to their drama series and cost much less than NBC’s recent primetime shows.
Leno says, "All I have to do is do better than Lipstick Jungle. Before, I was following an icon, now I'm just following shows that were in fourth place!"
NBC's hoping more laughs mean the last laugh on the competition.
Even though Leno wasn’t doing a show this past summer, he wasn’t on a three month vacation. Tuesday, we’ll see what he was up to.