Conan Willing to Compromise for Sake of 'Tonight Show'

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Jan. 10 2010, Published 7:55 a.m. ET

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Following today's announcement by NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin that Jay Leno's prime time NBC talk show has lost its 10:00pm time slot and may be moving back to 11:35pm in a shorter format, the network is trying to clarify how this move impacts current Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien and Late Night's Jimmy Fallon.

"What was really important to Conan was having the franchise of The Tonight Show," Gaspin explained. "I came up with this compromise."

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Of course, as Gaspin made clear during his initial announcement, "Talks are still ongoing."

In a not as rosy-looking statement, Gaspin said Carson Daly, "is going to be part of NBC, regardless of what happens."

The vacancy left by Leno's departure from the 10 p.m. slot will be filled with a combination of new dramas, including one produced by Lost and Alias mastermind JJ Abrams, re-runs of already-aired dramas, and new episodes of Dateline.

Jay Leno

"We're going back to basics," he said.

In other news, Gaspin confirmed David Hasselhoff is indeed leaving America's Got Talent and Deal or No Deal's Howie Mandel will be replacing him at the judges' table.


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