History Channel Courts Jay Leno: 'Complementary to Our Audience'

Jay Leno Porsche Carrera GT

Is Jay Leno heading to the History Channel?

While there’s no deal in place, the departing NBC host hinted that he liked the idea of his next act being at the cable channel during an interview with 60 Minutes.

When the CBS newsmagazine followed up, Leno said there was nothing in the works, at least not now. “No, no, no, I'm not going to the History Channel,” he said with a hearty laugh. But The Hollywood Reporter reached out to History, and a network spokesperson didn’t rule anything out: “We're big fans of Jay, and we think he would really be complementary to our audience.”

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It’s worth noting that Leno is something of a history buff, particularly as it pertains to his prized car collection. The indefatigable comedian has been known to give regular tours of his collection, housed in two hangars at the Burbank Airport, and can recite the history of each of the antique cars in his stable. It wouldn't be at all surprising to see Leno do a car show for the network known for series such as Counting Cars and Top Gear once he's wrapped his 22-year run at NBC. 

In an extensive interview with THR, Leno said he had little interest in doing another iteration of The Tonight Show but that doing something connected with his passion for cars held appeal. In recent years, Leno has become very hands-on with his Jay Leno’s Garage site and Web show, and he is a contributor to a handful of auto-themed publications.

“To do The Tonight Show Lite wouldn’t make a lot of sense,” he said, adding: “I have this Jay Leno’s Garage channel and that’s been really successful. I really enjoy that and it’s different from what I do here, so consequently I’m not competing against the shadow of my former self."

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