Report: Jay Leno to Host CNBC Show

Jay Leno is reportedly close to a deal to host a primetime series on CNBC. According to The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the news, the show will focus on Leno’s passion for cars.

CNBC declined to comment.

Leno has not had a regular television gig since he departed The Tonight Show in February, ending a run that began when he took over as host of the show from Johnny Carson in 1992. A move to CNBC would keep him in the NBCUniversal fold.

It would also mark a return to primetime for Leno, who is 64. When he first left The Tonight Show in 2009, Leno moved to primetime, hosting a 10 p.m. talk show five nights a week. The experiment was short lived, ending in 2010 with an acrimonious split between NBC and new Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien and Leno’s return to the late-night franchise.

Known best as a financial news outlet, CNBC has pushed recently into primetime entertainment programming with original series such as The Profit, Restaurant Startup and The Car Chasers, as well as reruns of ABC’s Shark Tank. The network aired a special from Leno’s car-themed web series Jay’s Garage over labor day weekend.