Kevin Eubanks to Leave "The Tonight Show": Source

Leno's long-time sidekick will depart after nearly 20 years

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Leno's back -- but sidekick Kevin Eubanks won't be.

    Leno's back -- but sidekick Kevin Eubanks won't be.

    The long-time bandleader and Jay Leno sidekick will leave "The Tonight Show," Extra! reported Tuesday afternoon.

    Eubanks, who joined the show in 1992, "wanted a change" and decided to leave the show to go after other opportunities, according to an Extra! source.

    Eubanks first signed on to Leno's program as part of the band, eventually ascending to the position of bandleader in 1994.

    He followed Leno to his failed prime-time effort, "The Jay Leno Show," an NBC experiment that flopped in the ratings.

    Leno will return to his "Tonight Show" late-night slot March 1, replacing his successor, Conan O'Brien, whose version of "Tonight" also flunked.

    Eubanks will be part of the March 1 debut, according to the source, but it was unclear when his final air date would be.