Fact Check

Jay Leno Signs $1B Deal with CBS for New Late Night Show Opposite Jimmy Kimmel?

"Leno’s brand of humor, characterized by its accessibility and broad appeal, is seen as a key asset in this endeavor," esspots.com reported.

Published April 1, 2024

 (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Image Via Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Claim:
Jay Leno signed a $1 billion deal with CBS in March 2024 for a late night show airing opposite Jimmy Kimmel's time slot.

On March 30, 2024, the SpaceX Fanclub Facebook page posted that Jay Leno – the former host of NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" – signed a deal with CBS worth $1 billion. The post received more than 46,000 likes and displayed an image reading, "Jay Leno Just Signed a $1 Billion Deal with CBS for a Late Night Show Opposite to Jimmy Kimmel's."

The first comment under the post contained a link to a March 4 article on the esspots.com website:

Breaking: CBS Signs a $1 Billion Deal With Jay Leno for a Late Night Show

In a move that has sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry, CBS has inked a groundbreaking $1 billion contract with Jay Leno, heralding the iconic comedian's return to the late-night television landscape. This bold decision not only underscores CBS's commitment to reclaiming its stake in the late-night ratings war but also signals a significant shift in the network's strategy, betting big on Leno's enduring appeal to viewers across generations.

However, the truth was this rumor originated on a website describing its content as satire. A disclaimer on esspots.com specified the website "specializes in satire, parody and humor" and said "we would like to emphasize that nothing on this website is real."

In fact, the SpaceX Fanclub Facebook page previously posted the same rumor with different wording earlier in March. Snopes reported on the rumor then, too.

As of April 2024, "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" airs at 11:35 p.m. EDT on CBS. "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" is broadcast on ABC in the same time slot.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

Sources

"Jimmy Kimmel Live! Video Clips." ABC, https://abc.com/shows/jimmy-kimmel-live/news/schedule.

Mikkelson, David. "Why We Include Humor and Satire in Snopes.Com." Snopes, 15 Aug. 2019, https://www.snopes.com//notes/why-we-include-humor-and-satire-in-snopes-com/.

"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert | About." Paramount Press Express, https://www.paramountpressexpress.com/cbs-entertainment/shows/the-late-show-with-stephen-colbert/about/.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.