The Tonight Show Controversy
Jay: I assumed that's what would happen, yes.
Oprah: And so at what point did the NBC executives come to you and say, "We want you to do your show in prime time"?
Jay: Well, the fly in the ointment was, "Uh-oh, we were number one right up until the day we left." In fact, they had me leave seven months early, before my contract was up, because this would preclude me from going somewhere. Plus, I have 175 people that work for me, and so I thought, "Well, the best way to keep things smooth was NBC came up with this idea."
Oprah: When did they come up with the 10 p.m. idea?
Jay: I guess it was in the fall of 2008. And they had the charts and the graphs, "Well, you see, people would love to see you at this time." They had all these things about why it might work at 10 p.m. And I said: "Well, can I keep my same staff? Can we maybe take a month and a half off or so, and then bring everybody back and [make] a smooth transition?" And they said, "Yeah, we can do that." And I said, "Okay, let's try it."