On January 7, 2010, multiple media outlets reported that effective March 1, 2010, The Jay Leno Show would move from the 10 pm (Eastern/Pacific Time) weeknight time slot to pm and O'Brien's The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien would move from pm to am.
On January 12, 2010, O'Brien publicly announced in an open letter that he intended to leave NBC if they moved The Tonight Show to am ET/PT to accommodate moving The Jay Leno Show to pm Eastern/ pm Central, due to poor ratings.
The fourth incarnation of the Tonight Show franchise debuted on May 25, 1992, three days after Johnny Carson's retirement as host of the program.The program originated from NBC Studios in Burbank, California, and was broadcast Monday through Friday at Central/Mountain time).David Letterman wanted to move into the earlier time slot from his late night spot after The Tonight Show, and he was also considered by many as the natural successor (despite Leno having been Carson's permanent guest host for several years).Carson always favored Letterman; notably Carson, who had been interviewed by Letterman, made two appearances on Letterman's rival CBS show, made no mention of Leno during his final shows and regularly sent Letterman monologue jokes in his final years.This decision met with opposition from O'Brien, whose stint on The Tonight Show ended January 22, 2010, after which he began his own talk show on TBS.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno then began its second incarnation, the sixth of the franchise, on March 1, 2010.
By March 2013, there were rumors that NBC would have Jimmy Fallon, who has been hosting Late Night since 2009 when he succeeded O'Brien, become the next host of The Tonight Show when Leno's current contract ends in 2014 and NBC would move the show back to New York for the first time in over 40 years.
On May 13, 2013, during its fall "upfronts" presentation, NBC confirmed Fallon would take over as host of the Tonight Show beginning on February 17, 2014; Seth Meyers, in turn, would leave Saturday Night Live (where he was the anchor of Weekend Update) and take over Fallon's time slot.
NBC ratings specialist Tom Bierbaum commented that due to the host being out of late night television for a period of time and the subsequent 2010 Tonight Show conflict, Leno's ratings fall was "not a surprise at all".
By May 2011, Leno's Tonight Show regained the lead and has held it since then.
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