NBC is keeping Tuesday night’s “The Jay Leno Show” finale extra low-key.
Leno’s last primetime show will feature guests Ashton Kutcher and Gabourey Sidibe, as well as a “10 at 10” Q&A with Bob Costas, via satellite from the Peacock’s Winter Olympics hub in Vancouver.
The host is also expected to mention his “Tonight Show” return on March 1. But beyond that, the pomp and circumstance will be nil.
That’s intentional, as NBC is trying to rehab the images of both Leno and “The Tonight Show.”
Meanwhile, the first elements of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” redux are already taking shape. NBC is running a contest, via Leno’s Facebook page, to find audience members for the March 1 show.
The Peacock also plans to start running “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” promos during the Winter Olympics. And the “Jay Leno Show” set will get an overhaul (those 10 p.m. references onstage will be scrubbed) during the time off.
Meanwhile, word spread over the weekend that NBC had already pulled most mentions of “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien” off its site and Hulu. At the NBC Universal online store, O’Brien merchandise remains — but it has all been discounted by 20%.
Also, O’Brien staff blogger Aaron Bleyaert noted that the final workday for the majority of O’Brien staffers was last Friday — with a few stragglers remaining until Feb. 19.
“It was ‘NBC… You Later’ Day,” he wrote. “It was ‘Don’t Let the Door Hit You Where the Big Zucker Split You’ Day… Needless to say, everyone left the office and headed directly to the bar for happy hour.”