If NBC doesn’t want Jay Leno, Fox wants to give him a new home.
The head of Fox’s powerful affiliate board — who represents the majority of the 206 Fox stations around the country, said yesterday he favors building a new late-night show — starting at 11 o’clock — around the departing “Tonight Show” host.
“If Fox were to present the right business plan, the affiliate board would be interested,” Steve Pruett, the board chairman, told The Post.
The prospect of Leno jumping networks — and gaining a half-hour jump on David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon, who has reportedly been told he is getting Leno’s job — would be a major blow to NBC’s plan for a smooth transition to a younger, hipper “Tonight” show host.
When he leaves, Leno “could take a sizable crowd with him,” says Hollywood manager Howard Lapides, who has repped Carson Daly, Jimmy Kimmel and others.
“Fallon will eventually develop his own audience, but it could take years.
“If Jay Leno was my client I would take him straight to Fox tomorrow.