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Jay Leno to return to The Tonight Show

American stand-up comedian Jay Leno who ended his 17-year stint as the host of The Tonight Show last year is set to return to the show, as present host Conan O'Brien is planning to opt out.

tv Updated: Jan 16, 2010 14:07 IST

Jay LenoAmerican stand-up comedian and TV host Jay Leno who ended his 17-year stint as the host of The Tonight Show last year is set to return to the show, as present host Conan O'Brien is planning to opt out.

Conan announced he would refuse to host the show - that runs on NBC channel, Washingtonpost.com reports.

According to a source from the channel, NBC now appears willing to let Conan, who will be likely allowed to develop a show for another network before his NBC contract expires, leave the network and an agreement is expected to be reached soon.

But it also appears the network intends to kick Conan as he walks out the door, as NBC Universal Sports chairman Dick Ebersol has been quoted as saying that Leno was being returned to late night because of "an astounding failure by Conan", ratings-wise, on The Tonight Show.