In its boldest move yet to cut costs, NBC announced today that it would produce only one episode of its new "Jay Leno Show" and rerun it until someone notices. The new Leno program, whose scheduling every weeknight at 10 was heralded as a way for NBC to reduce programming expenses, had originally been conceived as a series that would have an original episode every night. But after looking at the network's ailing balance sheet, NBC chairman Jeff Zucker decided to greenlight what some within the network have called "the nuclear option": producing only one episode and rerunning it ad infinitum.
"To many Americans, Jay Leno is their favorite comfort food," Mr. Zucker said. "We can think of nothing more comforting than offering them the opportunity to watch the same episode of Jay's show over and over and over again." Mr. Zucker confirmed that the network downsized the order of the new Leno show after conducting focus groups revealing that viewers were equally satisfied after watching the same episode of "Law & Order" ten times in a row as they were after watching ten different episodes. "In retrospect, we could have just ordered one episode of ‘Law and Order' all those years," Mr. Zucker said. "That means we bought 4,000 episodes we really didn't need."
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