The promos for Jay Leno’s return to the Tonight Show started running during tonight’s Olympics coverage. I’m sure the video will be available shortly but until then:
Instead, the network is opting for a low-key echo of the commercials that launched Leno: Last fall, he was shown driving a race car emblazoned with a 10, a reminder of his new slot.
In spots that began airing during the Olympics Wednesday night, he’s driving the same car, only the 10 is replaced by 11:35 (or 10:35, depending on your time zone), as the Beatles song urges him to “Get back to where you once belonged.”
The approach is in marked contrast to the hype — painted buildings, grocery-aisle ads — that greeted his move to prime time last fall. Back then he was heralded on the cover of Time as the “future of television”; on March 1, NBC tries to relaunch Leno in his late-night perch and repopulates its 10 ET/PT schedule with dramas and reality shows.
Update: Josef Adalian writes that the way the spot actually runs is that the car still has the 10 on it but then it flies off the car to reveal 11:35.