NBC announced today that Kevin Eubanks, Leno’s bandleader and sometimes straight man, will be leaving the show sometime after it returns to the air March 1.

“Kevin has expressed interest in pursuing personal touring and recording opportunities; however, he will be with the show when it returns,” read a statement issued by the network. (Hmm… Wasn’t Max Weinberg able to tour with Bruce Springsteen and still retain his job with Conan O’Brien? Interesting.)

Just how long Eubanks will remain with the show is anybody’s guess, but media reports indicate it will be long enough to give Leno and “Tonight Show” executive producer Debbie Vickers time to find a replacement.

And if other rumors are true, Eubanks’ departure isn’t the only change afoot at “Tonight.” Announcer John Melendez is reportedly vacating the announcer’s chair, but will continue to contribute as a writer.

Wednesday, February 17
Tracy Morgan – “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”
Josh Wolf, Heather McDonald, Ryan Stout – “Chelsea Lately”
Snoop Dogg – “Lopez Tonight”
Mumford & Sons – “Late Show with David Letterman”
Tracy Morgan, Brad Paisley – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Sinbad – “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”

Thursday, February 18
Ross Mathews, Owen Benjamin, Guy Branum – “Chelsea Lately”
Jennifer Lopez – “Lopez Tonight” – rerun
Daniel Merriweather – “Late Show with David Letterman”
Robin Thicke – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Friday, February 19
Bernadette Peters – “The View”
Sarah Colonna, Jeff Wild, Ross Mathews – “Chelsea Lately” – rerun
Wale – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Saturday, February 20
R.E.M. – “Austin City Limits” – rerun
Jennifer Lopez – “Saturday Night Live”