The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is an American late-night talk show hosted by Jay Leno that initially aired from May 25, 1992 to May 29, 2009, and resumed production on March 1, 2010. The fourth incarnation of the Tonight Show franchise made its debut on May 25, 1992, following Johnny Carson's retirement as host of The Tonight Show. The nightly broadcast at 11:35 p.m. (Eastern) originated from NBC's studios, in Burbank, California. Unlike Jack Paar or Johnny Carson, however, Leno only once utilized a guest host, preferring to host the series by himself.
The series, which followed the same basic format as that of his predecessors (an opening monologue followed by comedy routines, interviews and performances), ran until May 29, 2009, after which Leno was succeeded by Conan O'Brien. NBC signed Leno to a new deal for a nightly talk show in the 10:00 p.m. ET timeslot. The primetime series, titled The Jay Leno Show, debuted on September 14, 2009, following a similar format to the Leno incarnation of Tonight.
Both Conan O'Brien's version of the program, which premiered June 1, 2009, and The Jay Leno Show, did not generate the ratings that NBC had expected, and decided to move Leno's show to O'Brien's time slot, and O'Brien's Tonight Show an hour later. This decision met with opposition from O'Brien, whose stint on The Tonight Show ended January 22, 2010, after which he began his own talk show on TBS. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno then began its second and current incarnation, the sixth of the franchise, on March 1, 2010.