LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - You've seen all the promotions and the hype, now the day is finally here. Jay Leno kicks off in prime time Monday night at 9 p.m. on NewsChannel 11. Leno will debut his new show in a move that the cover of "Time" magazine calls, "the future of television."
"This is really different. I mean we have a brand new set. It's about three times the size of our old stage," said Leno. Classic Leno favorites like headlines and "Jay Walking" will still be a part of the show, but he'll also pack the new hour with more comedy and some new segments. "We built a race track behind the studio. We're gonna have celebrities do this green car challenge thing. If some celebrities crash and burn... Ahhh," he said.
A team of comedic correspondents will also join Leno. "Brian Williams is actually gonna be a featured guest for us. He's gonna be doing stories that weren't quite good enough for the NBC Nightly News. All the stupid criminals, that type of thing," said Leno.
Leno hopes to appeal to all different types of people across the country, including right here in Lubbock. "I like Texas. Texas is a very funny place to me. I'll always remember going to Lubbock where you could stand up to your neck in mud and still have dust blowing in your eyes. That doesn't happen anywhere else in the world," he said with a laugh.
Critics say replacing the current format of more expensive dramas in the 9 p.m. hour is risky. "Here he's stepping into the unknown. No one really knows what this show is going to be," said New York Times writer, Bill Carter.
Local NBC news anchors across the country hope the new show leading into their nightly newscast five days a week succeeds. Leno says he's ready for the challenge, "Hopefully they enjoy the program and have a few laughs. That's the idea."
Monday night's first guest is Jerry Seinfield. Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West will perform, which could be interesting after Kanye West's controversial outburst at the VMA's on Sunday.
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