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NBC Still Plans Conan O'Brien On 'Tonight Show' In 2009

NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker said Monday in New York that Jay Leno will be handing over the the 'Tonight Show' to Conan in 2009 as planned and they aren't having any second thoughts.

"Conan O'Brien will take over 'The Tonight Show' in 2009," when asked at the function arranged by Syracuse University.

Although Zucker is hoping that Leno remains with NBC and "we are in those conversations now."

A deal for Leno's exit was finalized three years ago as part of NBC's effort to keep O'Brien from moving to a competing network.

Leno has publicly said he's comfortable with his departure but the Los Angeles Times says friends close to the comedian say Leno is reluctant to retire still hosting the top-rated late-night program.

Personally, we love Conan O'Brien but he just wouldn't be the same on the 'Tonight Show'. O'Brien is funny because he's off the cuff and unpredictable -- something the 'Tonight Show' isn't known for.

Keeping Leno and O'Brien where they belong would be our first choice. We're sure O'Brien wouldn't mind a pay hike to forget a broken promise.

October 30, 2007 |

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