NBC is defending Jay Leno even as the future of his prime-time show appears in question.
Citing unnamed NBC executives, The New York Times reported that the network is considering reinstating Leno as host of "The Tonight Show," a job he turned over to Conan O'Brien last spring.
The Web site TMZ said the move would happen as soon as next month, following NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics.
NBC denies any plans to cancel "The Jay Leno Show."
A ratings leader in late-night, Leno has been an audience also-ran since his prime-time show began in September. Network affiliates are unhappy that now fewer viewers are available to watch the late newscasts that follow Leno on local stations.
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