Seinfeld to be first guest on new Jay Leno show

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld addresses the audience after accepting a 2009 Ellis Island Family Heritage Award in New York May 19, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedian Jerry Seinfeld will be the first guest on Jay Leno’s new primetime TV show in September, NBC said on Friday.

The star and co-creator of the 1990s TV comedy “Seinfeld” will help kick off “The Jay Leno Show” when it premieres on NBC on September 14.

Seinfeld, one of America’s most popular comedians, will join R&B singers Kanye West, Rihanna and Jay-Z, who will be performing on the opening show.

The U.S. TV industry is closely watching the experiment by struggling NBC to replace expensive scripted drama at 10 pm with Leno’s less costly and hopefully ratings-friendly comedy and chat show five nights a week.

Leno, who ended his 17-year run on “The Tonight Show” in May, has said the new program will feature more comedy and fewer celebrities on couches promoting their latest ventures.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte