Former talkshow host Jay Leno to host new car series on CNBC

Comedian Jay Leno hosts the 2014 Carousel of Hope Ball at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on Oct 11, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Comedian Jay Leno hosts the 2014 Carousel of Hope Ball at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on Oct 11, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

New York (Reuters) - Comedian Jay Leno, who was the host of NBC's The Tonight Show for more than 20 years, will return to television next year to host a new series about cars, said cable network CNBC.

The show, tentatively titled Jay Leno's Garage, will be based on his Emmy Award-winning Web series. He will share his love of cars on the new series, which will premiere in 2015.

"The show will be about anything that rolls, explodes and makes noise," the 64-year-old said in a statement. "We hope to highlight the passion and the stories behind the men and women who made the automobile the greatest invention of the 20th century."

Leno, one of the biggest car collectors in the United States, owns an extensive array of hundreds of vehicles and motorcycles.

The new series follows his one-hour special, Jay Leno's Garage: The Ultimate Car Week, which was aired on CNBC in August and marked his first television appearance since The Tonight Show. The silver-haired comedian left the late-night talk show in February with a star-studded farewell, following a long stint that began when he replaced Johnny Carson in 1992.

Comedian Jimmy Fallon replaced him as the show's host and moved it from California back to its New York roots.