leno.jpgIn a recent article in Variety, NBC states that once Conan O’Brian takes over The Tonight Show in 2009, they are prepared to do anything short of housing his car collection to keep him at the peacock.

NBC has yet to present Leno with any alternatives, but among the options being floated are a primetime strip or variety show that would air once or multiple times a week, perhaps kicking off primetime at 8 p.m.; work on NBC U’s cable properties and specifically USA Network, which the net is hoping to build into the de-facto “fifth network”; Jay-on-demand through TiVo, cable, or online; or, the “Bob Hope deal,” where Leno does what he wants — just about anything but telling jokes at 11:35 pm.

Besides reading ‘Motor’ magazine and watching ‘Jay’s Garage’ online, I’m a big fan of almost anything Leno. Assuming he does get the “Bob Hope” deal he’s future work at NBC may finally just push the network above 4th place in the ratings. On the flip side, an entire primetime series devoted to “Headlines” may do just the opposite.