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March 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“Are you all into March Madness?” Jay Leno asked his Tonight show audience Thursday night. “People are talking about who’s in, who’s out, who’s gonna be eliminated.” But Leno made it clear that he wasn’t necessarily referring to basketball. “That’s just here at NBC,” he quipped. “I have never been in the papers this much. It’s fantastic.” It appeared to be his first direct reference to reports that first appeared in the New York Times that he was about to be replaced for a second time by the younger host of the program that follows his own. And while his contract runs through the fall of next year, the Hollywood Reporter suggested on Thursday that some NBC execs want the transition to Jimmy Fallon to take place in February so that the network can promote it during the Winter Olympics. The trade publication also said that Leno was scheduled to have dinner Thursday night with NBC Entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt, presumably to discuss the network’s plans for the late-night show.