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Jay Leno 'blindsided' by Tonight Show axe

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Jay Leno says he was "blindsided" when he was asked to leave 'The Tonight Show'.

The 63 -year-old talk show host felt like he had been dumped by a girlfriend during his spat with NBC producers, who announced in 2004 that he would be leaving the show and replaced him with Conan O'Brien four years later.

During an interview with '60 Minutes' set to air Sunday (01.26.14), Jay recalled: "I was blindsided ... [NBC executives said] 'You're out...' and I went, 'OK.'

"You know, you have a girl [who] says, 'I don't want to see you anymore.' 'Why?' 'You know, she doesn't want to see you any more, OK?' "

Jay - who was later given his own primetime series 'The Jay Leno Show', which aired from September 2009 to February 2010 - believes he was unfairly deemed a villain when NBC asked him to resume his role on 'The Tonight Show' to replace Conan, who quit after seven months following poor ratings.

Jay said: "I didn't quite understand that, but I never chose to answer any of those things or make fun of any other people involved, it's not my way."

'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' began in its current incarnation on March 1, 2010, but Jay will leave this Spring to be replaced by Jimmy Fallon.

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