E! Online reports Boston’s NBC affilate, WHDH, has decided to forgo airing Leno’s 10 p.m. show in favor of a local news show. (For the record, Boston is the seventh largest TV market in the country.)

“We feel we have a real opportunity with running the news at 10 p.m.,” station owner Ed Ansin told the Boston Globe. “We don’t think the Leno show is going to be effective in prime time,” Ansin said yesterday. “It will be detrimental to our 11 o’clock. It will be very adverse to our finances.”

Ouch! And they haven’t even seen the show yet. NBC isn’t taking the defection lying down.

“WHDH’s move is a flagrant violation of the terms of their contract with NBC,” said NBC TV Network President John Eck. “If they persist, we will strip WHDH of its NBC affiliation. We have a number of other strong options in the Boston market, including using our existing broadcast license to launch an NBC-owned and -operated station.”

This could get interesting if more stations around the country follow WHDH’s example. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 3
Martina McBride – “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”
– “The Tavis Smiley Show”
Gary Valentine – “Chelsea Lately”
Colin Mochrie, The Killers – “The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos”
Denis Leary, Diana Krall – “Late Show with David Letterman”
Miley Cyrus – “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”
Cold War Kids – “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”
Lily Allen – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Zooey Deschanel, Henry Cho – “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”

Saturday, April 4
Arcade Fire – “Austin City Limits” – rerun
Phoenix – “Saturday Night Live”

Monday, April 6
Rebirth Brass Band – “Live with Regis and Kelly”
Miley Cyrus – “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” – rerun
Nick Thune, Natasha Leggero, Brad Wollack – “Chelsea Lately”
Diana Krall – “The Tavis Smiley Show”
Razorlight – “Late Show with David Letterman” – rerun
Raul Malo – “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” – rerun
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” – rerun
New Kids on the Block – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” – rerun
M. Ward – “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” – rerun
Little Boots – “Last Call with Carson Daly” – rerun