Jay Leno copied a routine from Jimmy Kimmel at the TCA Press Tour gathering in Beverly Hills Monday by disguising himself as a reporter and posing questions about late night to the NBC brass. (Last week, Kimmel did a similar thing at the ABC portion of the press tour.) Leno donned a bald cap and glasses to ask when “Leno” would step down from The Tonight Show (May 29, 2009) and when Conan O’Brien would succeed him (June 1, 2009). Jimmy Fallon is also expected to replace O’Brien sometime in the spring.
Once Leno left the room, NBC cochairman Marc Graboff tried to downplay industry speculation that Leno would seek work elsewhere — possibly at ABC — once his contract expires in January 2010. “We’re still talking to Jay about staying in the NBC Universal family,” he told reporters. “We’re not ready to concede (that he’s going elsewhere). And The Tonight Show will continue to dominate [once he’s gone].”
In other news, NBC cochairman Ben Silverman confirmed that Greg
Daniels (The Office) is developing a new comedy — not a spinoff of The
Office — for SNL vet Amy Poehler that’ll bow this spring. That means
the coveted time slot after the Super Bowl — which Silverman said in May
would serve as the launching pad for the planned Office spinoff —
now open; NBC has no plans, for now, on how to fill it. “Amy is
pregnant, so it’ll be tough for her to turn a show around,” Silverman
said. “It’s much more likely that the show will launch in March.
Stylistically, it will look like The Office but it’s a different
concept.” Silverman added, however, that he still hopes to pursue an Office spinoff with Daniels.