Jay Leno’s moving to 10 p.m. earlier than expected.
Actually, he’s already there. In preparation for Leno’s new primetime strip, NBC has already been airing a promo for “The Jay Leno Show” every night exactly at 10 p.m.
Now those promos are getting more elaborate — and by the end of this month will even start including a miniature Leno monologue.
“From the moment he left ‘The Tonight Show’ until the moment his new show starts, there won’t be a day where Jay doesn’t appear on NBC,” said NBC Universal TV Group chief marketing officer John Miller. “We want to create a 10 o’clock habit.”
Some spots will be as short as 20 seconds. But Miller has also hired one of Leno’s writers to come up with gags for minutelong monologues that will start appearing as soon as the end of this month.
Those monologues will likely be shot within a day or two of the promo in order to be topical. Leno may also do brief versions of other bits, such as “Headlines,” in the spots.
NBC also has begun airing new promos that feature Leno being pitched terrible promo ideas by a fake network executive. And some 10 p.m. Leno spots will center on him “hosting” whatever is scheduled for that hour.
“Jay’s used to working, so he’s happy to oblige,” Miller said. “We’re trying to shoot things almost on a weekly basis all summer long. Creatively, our goal is simple: to establish the notion that it’s going to be Jay, it’s going to be comedy, on the air at 10 p.m. this fall.”
The spots will also serve as a small fix for Leno fans who have missed getting the host’s signature monologue since he left the air at the end of May. The promo effort will eventually lead to the Sept. 14 premiere of “The Jay Leno Show” at 10 p.m.