NBC confirmed online reports today that Kevin Eubanks, Jay Leno’s affable bandleader, will step down from his post sometime after original installments of “The Tonight Show” resume in March.
Eubanks told the Peacock Network he wants to try other things, a network insider said, though it’s still not clear when he’ll abdicate his late night gig (or whether the entire band will go with him).
For now, he is expected to be present for Leno’s much-talked about return to “Tonight” on March 1.
Eubanks’ potential replacement and the band’s status is one of many logistical issues confronting Leno, as he and executive producer Debbie Vickers prepare for their next chapter in late night.
One thing’s for certain: he and his staff won’t return to “The Tonight Show’s” old sound stage on the Burbank lot, much less take over the fancy new digs that were built for Conan O’Brien in Universal City.