It’s official. Jimmy Fallon to replace Jay Leno

By David Knox on April 4, 2013 / Filed Under News 16

2013-04-04_1131It’s official.

Jimmy Fallon will replace Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show on NBC in 2014.

It ends speculation about the coveted late night show manoeuvres.

Of course this is not the first time NBC has announced a plan to replace Leno.

In 2009, Conan O’Brien became host, but after ratings slipped a deal was done to return Leno and Conan headed off to TBS (where he has just been renewed). Needless to say, that’s already lead to late-night gags from CBS’s David Letterman about Leno.

The Tonight Show will also relocate to New York City when Fallon takes over.

NBC is making the move because it thinks Fallon will do better with younger viewers in the years to come.

As the LA Times notes, although Leno still delivers solid ratings, he is not the force he once was. ABC this year moved its late night show Jimmy Kimmel Live from after midnight to 11:30 p.m. and it has started to attract a younger audience.

“We are purposefully making this change when Jay is No. 1, just as Jay replaced Johnny Carson when he was No. 1,” said NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke. “Jimmy Fallon is a unique talent and this is his time.”

In a statement Leno congratulated Fallon and said, “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.”

NBC did not say who would succeed Fallon. Some observers think Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live is the front-runner. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon currently airs in Australia on the Comedy Channel, but no network screens Leno in Australia.

All up Leno will have hosted The Tonight Show for 22 years.

16 Comments »

  1. Dayman April 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm -

    @Craig

    No way would Fallon get that pay out clause. No way at all would NBC make that mistake.

  2. Ann April 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm -

    Both will need replacing, with no bike helmets!!

  3. steveany 2.0 April 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm -

    @Charlie Miso
    Exactly right! The others are simply pretenders.
    After all, as Hank Kingsley once said, you can’t spell hilLARious without LARry!

  4. jezza April 4, 2013 at 6:10 pm -

    No one screens Leno? not even on pay tv? We have Conan, Letterman and Ferguson on FTA but not the guy with the number one show? would suit seven’s late night. . .

  5. Craig April 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm -

    I hope Jimmy has a good contract after what happened with Conan.

    I watch Fallon but unlike Ferguson I only watch the interviews. I can see Ferguson taking over the Late Show at some point but Letterman has made no indication of his retirement that I know of.

    I look forward to the joke over on the CBS late shows, that will surely come out of this.

  6. seriouslysquare April 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm -

    picking Conan to replace Leno was a joke, Conan is not funny. Jimmy is a better choice, but maybe a better choice would be to think outside the square. I think Ellen would be a perfect fit for late night tv.

  7. Buzz3 April 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm -

    That is a joke,they have no hope in this working.Conan should still be doing the show,he achieved what the network now says they want.What a mess.Well Done to Conan on extending his contract.

  8. vitieddie April 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm -

    Letterman for me …

  9. whiskers April 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm -

    Hey 7mate – please get on this.

    Thanks.

  10. Dayman April 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm -

    Fallon is an old persons idea of someone who’s hip and cool. He’s fine and non objectionable, really talented and all. But Conan was the real deal. In any case Conan take over from Letterman in a few years and probably stay in LA…

    The interesting aspect is the moving of the tonight show to New York. That has to be a bad move. Absolutely great for Kimmel though. It’ll give him first choice and the best access to celebs. Remember Leno only started doing well because he got Hugh Grant right after the hooker scandal. ‘What were you thinking’ was Leno’s lame famous question.

    So Kimmel will be prime for guests in LA, better access. Letterman will remain the elder statesman and king in New York.

  11. stilesy April 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm -

    Now would be the perfect opportunity for The Comedy Channel to bring back Jay Leno. I know in 2010 they dropped Leno due to poor ratings, but given he’s only got about one year to go before he leaves for good, the Comedy Channel don’t have to much to lose. As for Jimmy Fallon taking over & hosting the show from New York City, I think it’s great news & would be perfect for a channel like 7mate to pick up.

  12. Bob80 April 4, 2013 at 12:54 pm -

    Someone at the Comedy Channel was smart and realised Fallon was the future of late night. They dropped all other late night shows and only retained Fallon which they have exclusively. David, does Seven still have an output deal with NBC/Universal? If so Fallon’s Tonight Show could be snapped up by Seven or 7mate

  13. Charlie Miso April 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm -

    Larry Sanders or nothing for me

  14. TBone23 April 4, 2013 at 12:35 pm -

    Congrats to Jimmy i wonder how Conan feels ;)
    I hope we do end up seeing it here.
    Tho i’m happy we get Conan my fave out all the late night shows just ahead of Ferguson.

  15. deedeedragons April 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm -

    Whatever. I’ve always watched Letterman and Ferguson.

  16. Josh777 April 4, 2013 at 11:50 am -

    Well given the fact that after Comedy dropped Leno, Fallon and Letterman in 2010 but only brought back Fallon, they will likely pick up Fallon’s new talk show and potentially drop the existing one. However, if they have a host similar to Fallon in that he/show would appeal to Comedy’s target audience, we could see two late night talk shows on Comedy from 2014.

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