David Letterman Last Episode and Replacement: Rumors Fly That CBS Wants Jay Leno

By Matthew Reis | Apr 07, 2014 03:41 PM EDT

The Late Show with David Letterman will be coming to a close sometime in 2015. Why? Well, the 66-year-old is calling it a career and retiring. CBS late night programming will never be the same and any replacement host may have trouble drawing consistently good ratings like Letterman. Of course, one former out-of-work talk show host would be able to help. But who... Wait. Could it be? It cannot... it mustn't. It would almost be unthinkable....  

Now in an ironic reversal of fortune the troubled Peacock Network may lose its former late night kingpin to its chief rival! That's right, Jay Leno may be just the right person to replace Letterman on The Late Show! Now at 63 years of age, Leno isn't much younger, but he's still spry and jubilant.

Plus, as the longtime host of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he has the acumen and skills necessary for late night TV programming. Leno would undoubtedly be a good fit for The Late Show. Leno was well known for constantly beating his New York buddy in the ratings for nearly two decades. But the question of the day is: does Leno even want to return to the air? Usually when you retire your retire, but Leno didn't actually give notice. 

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NBC wants you to think that Jay Leno willingly gave up his Tonight Show perch to replacement Jimmy Fallon. But the true story is that the Peacock Network doesn't give a damn about tenure and tradition. It wanted to go in a different direction and capture the coveted 18-34 demographic before it looked towards other programming such as TBS' Conan permanently.

Extra caught up with Leno and, when asked about Letterman's sign off, he jokingly said:

"Oh well you know, he and I [are] gonna do The Sunshine Boys on Broadway, so we're very excited about that."

Letterman broke the news of his impending departure to fans last week. He had this to say about his illustrious 33-year-long run.

"The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance. And I phoned him just before the program, and I said 'Leslie, it's been great, you've been great, and the network has been great, but I'm retiring.'"

Out with the old, in with the old? If Leno returns it sure would make for a helluva story!

So what do you think about a potential Jay Leno return? Do you think CBS brass prefers him or say comedienne Chelsea Handler? Let us know in the comments section below.

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