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NBC Needs To Groom Leno Successor

Though his good-guy image took a serious hit during the battle with Conan O'Brien over "Tonight's" host chair, many analysts expect Jay Leno, who turns 60 in April, to win back most of his old fan base, which made the show No. 1 in late night during most of his 17-year tenure. The long-term future of the franchise, however, is up for grabs. NBC needs to find his replacement.

Perhaps more distressing for NBC executives, pulling Leno out of prime time has meant a developing expensive scripted dramas for the 10 p.m. hour -- a luxury it said it could no longer abe happy about Leno's 11:35 p.m. slot to revive ratings for their local newscasts, but the move won't help NBC's pocketbook.

Read the whole story at Los Angeles Times »

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