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NBC Announces When Jay Leno Is Leaving The Tonight Show

Longtime Tonight Show host Jay Leno is officially leaving the iconic late night program on February 6th, Deadline reports. Leno’s staff will continue to be paid through next September, when his contract officially expires.

Even though Leno wished his successor, Late Night‘s Jimmy Fallon, well, there have been reports that behind-the-scenes, Leno isn’t quite that eager to go, with one former NBC executive describing it as “bullshit.” Publicly, at least, Leno has pulled no punches, relentlessly mocking NBC as rumors he was a lame duck started swirling.

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon will debut on Monday, February 24th, at the start of the second week of Winter Olympic coverage, followed by the new Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Leno’s last departure from the show was in 2009, when he handed the reigns over to Conan O’Brien for a few months while he jumped into primetime with The Jay Leno Show. After some highly chronicled on- and off-air drama, O’Brien left and Leno returned to the desk. And while it’s unlikely anything that serious will happen this time, NBC is in talks to keep Leno in the fold after February.

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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