Jay Leno Mocks NBC's Rise to No. 2 as Easter 'Miracle' (Video)
The embattled “Tonight Show” host continues to joke about his network's ratings amid reports it is planning to replace him with Jimmy Fallon.
After nightly jabs at NBC during his Tonight Show monologues last week, Jay Leno is back at it.
On Wednesday’s show, Leno gave faux praise to his network for rising to No. 2 in the primetime ratings Monday. The network received a boost from the returns of singing competition The Voice and postapocalyptic drama Revolution.
"Folks, listen to this. Monday night the primetime shows The Voice and Revolution moved NBC in the No. 2 position,” Leno said. “You know what that means? Between Easter and Passover, this is truly the season of miracles. We’re No. 2! I’ve been saying for the last week that NBC is a big No. 2. Haven’t I been saying that? Congratulations!”
Leno went on to mention a report about T-Mobile doing away with contracts. "Apparently they got the idea from NBC," he said.
Leno has been at the center of reports that NBC is planning to remove him from his Tonight perch in 2014 and replace him with Late Night host Jimmy Fallon. Leno previously mocked NBC in a Feb. 28 episode, in which he joked about the network finishing in fifth place during February sweeps month. Those jokes prompted NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt to fire off an angry email to the comedian, which resulted in a series of exchanges between the two.
The new cover story of The Hollywood Reporter reports that the pair had dinner March 21 at West Hollywood's posh Soho House, where they discussed Leno's transition from Tonight. The next day, the host joked on air that NBC execs had taken him out to dinner and were sending him on a Carnival cruise to make up for any bad blood. Earlier in the week, he referred to NBC executives as "snakes" in a monologue joke.
Leno has consistently remained the top-rated late-night talk show host, though THR's cover story reported late-night shows are experiencing revenue declines that could make his No. 1 status less important in NBC's decision. The Tonight Show, for example, booked $146 million in ad revenue in 2012 compared with $255 million in 2007. CBS' Late Show With David Letterman has seen similar declines.
Tonight airs at 11:35 p.m. on NBC.