Usually, one's interest, or curiosity, is said to be piqued (provoked or aroused), although a case can be made here that the audience's interest peaked (as in, reached its apex) at that moment. One thing their interest did not do, however, is peek, something traditionally done by humans and their eyeballs.Interest seemed to peek on the rare occasion the words Late Night slipped out of Leno's lips.
And what's with the italicized, capitalized reference to "Late Night," which shows up again in the final paragraph:
The dismal reality is that O'Brien hasn't been able to fill the comedian's [Leno's] shoes, who easily transitioned into the Late Night spot himself after Johnny Carson..."The show Leno transitioned into after Carson left was, of course, The Tonight Show--the same show Conan O'Brien may now be leaving in a fit of pique. And as anyone who follows these things (or has read or watched The Late Shift) knows, Leno's transition back then was anything but easy.