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Jimmy Fallon to replace Jay Leno on The Tonight Show starting 2014

04.03.2013

If you haven't been following the back and forth between NBC and Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, then don't feel left out.  It's a complicated affair and one that takes many turns.  However, the speculation that Jimmy Fallon may be taking over for Leno is no longer speculation as Fallon as officially signed on to take on The Tonight Show after Leno's contract is up in 2014.  If you'll remember, Conan O'Brien was handed the reigns back in 2009 only to have them yanked away, moving him to TBS and Leno back as host.  It's unlikely that will happen this time out.

The Tonight Show will be returning to its original home in 30 Rock in New York, where Fallon's current Late Night show is housed and will be executive-produced by Emmy Award winner Lorne Michaels (“Saturday Night Live,” “30 Rock”). Leno congratulated Fallon, saying:

“Congratulations Jimmy.  I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re the old guy. If you need me, I’ll be at the garage.”

Fallon responded to the new opportunity by saying:

“I’m really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow.”

NBC's response emphasized that they weren't quite putting a horse to pasture, but making the transition on a high note:

“Jay Leno is an entertainment icon, making millions of people laugh every weeknight for more than 20 years,” said Steve Burke, Chief Executive Officer of NBCUniversal. “His long reign as the highest-rated late-night host is a testament to his work ethic and dedication to his viewers and to NBC.

“We are purposefully making this change when Jay is #1, just as Jay replaced Johnny Carson when he was #1.  Jimmy Fallon is a unique talent and this is his time.  I’m thrilled he will become the sixth host of ‘The Tonight Show’ at exactly the right moment, in conjunction with our coverage of next year’s Winter Olympic Games from Sochi, Russia."

Programming plans for the 12:35 a.m. (ET) time period currently are in development and will be announced soon. In the meantime, you can now rest easy or revolt in protest, as the show becomes The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

What say you?

Extra Tidbit: I kinda dig the Farrelly brothers' Fever Pitch with Fallon and Drew Barrymore. I never thought he'd go the late night route...
Source: Deadline

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