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TCA: McPherson: NBC Making Mistake with Leno

Beverly Hills -- NBC is making a mistake by letting Jay Leno go "at the top of his game," ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson said.

McPherson made the comments at the Television Critics Association summer press tour here following a question from Jimmy Kimmel, posing as a reporter from Sarasota, N.Y.

McPherson said ABC will examine the Leno issue once his contract expires with NBC in 2009, when Conan O’Brien will take over The Tonight Show, adding that Kimmel, who currently holds down ABC's late-night lineup, would be involved in any conversations with the Tonight Show host.

"We love Jimmy and he’s a part of this network," McPherson said. "The Leno (talks are) not something that’s going to go on behind closed doors and be sprung on anyone.”

McPherson added: “I can’t say enough about Jimmy, his show just exploded this year.”

For the latest news and video from the TCA press tour, click here.