RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The landscape of TV as we know it makes a radical change next week when NBC gets out of the business of 10 p.m. dramas, and turns that time-slot over to Jay Leno. Jay has been tirelessly promoting the new program and took some time recently for a one-on-one interview with me.
He's a hot commodity as his new show starts Monday. But if you're expecting the same old Tonight Show - you'll be disappointed. This is something completely different. And since this show will be on every weeknight at 10 o'clock, Jay said he knows very well what's at stake:
Curt Autry: "People say this show could save the NBC network. Are you feeling a lot of pressure?"
Jay Leno: "Not really, the network is already in 4th place - anything I do is grave at this point. No, I think it's a lot of fun. I mean, I did the Tonight Show for 17 years, so I got that. Anything else past that is gravy..."
There will be no desk, no couch with long celebrity interviews, instead, wall to wall comedy. There will be regular correspondents with their own funny take on the day's news. And even Nightly News anchor Brian Williams will take a shot at making people laugh:
"He'll be doing a feature called 'Not good enough for the Nightly News' and there will be those stupid idiot criminals that write the ransom note on the back of their gas bill, or whatever it might be, and he'll doing a lot of those for us," said Jay.
Jay believes the time is right for something other than drama at 10 o'clock and he's talking a little smack:
"I mean how many variations of CSI? There's NCSI, there's CSI Miami, Los Angeles, CSI New York: I mean how many cerebral cortexes can you see that have been smashed with a pipe? Let's try something different - and see what happens," Jay said.