Jimmy Fallon tipped to succeed Jay Leno on The Tonight Show

2013-03-22_0147NBC execs have been scrambling amid reports that Jimmy Fallon will take over from Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show.

Despite earlier denials, it’s clear that NBC is poised to begin hammering out a succession plan for Fallon to move up to The Tonight Show throne, possibly as soon as February 2014. Leno’s current contract is up in September 2014.

Insiders stressed that there is no formal deal in place for Fallon. But the chatter about host shuffle and the return of The Tonight Show to New York will undoubtedly force the network’s hand in addressing the contracts of both hosts.

That puts NBC in the awkward position of once again preparing for the exit of the host who remains No. 1 in the competitive latenight timeslot.

The New York Times reports Jimmy Kimmel was staking a claim to the younger viewers that are of most economic value in late-night television.

The transition focus talk comes barely four years after NBC briefly replaced Leno with Conan O’Brien, only to reverse course abruptly when The Tonight Show ratings took a dive.

Leno has been making light of the speculation on his show.

“According to several reports, scientists say they are getting closer and closer to being able to do Jurassic Park-style cloning of extinct species,” he said in Wednesday night’s monologue. “Imagine that? Things that were once thought to be extinct could now be brought back from the dead. So there’s hope for NBC. It could turn around.”

NBC’s ratings in prime time have hit record lows in the past two months. NBC now regularly finishes first in the ratings in only three places: the evening news, Saturday Night Live and Leno’s Tonight show. But Leno’s show is not the cash cow it once was and had its budget trimmed considerably two years ago when Leno signed his last deal.

Source: Variety, Hollywood Reporter


  1. Jimmy Fallon is what an old person things the young people like.

    Generally from speaking to people, I never hear anyone ever mention Fallon these days. People don’t even send clips of his around viral any more.

    However people always mention and like Craig Ferguson. His show is just cool and hip. However it doesn’t fit the old executives view point of what the young people would like. It’s stripped back and doesn’t try, he’s effortlessly funny. Fallon is still a performer at the end of the day. Leno, Letterman, Conan, Craig and even Kimmel are way more natural and themselves.

    It’ll be interesting. Everyone expects Conan will take over from Letterman. The thing is, rumour is Fallon would stay in New York. Will Conan go to the Ed Sullivan theatre in NY or stay in LA.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out over the next few years.

    Who knows, after those brillant episodes, maybe Louis CK! lol

  2. Jimmy Fallon hosting The Tonight Show from New York would be great to see. I still can’t believe that The Tonight show with Jay Leno still isn’t shown on either Foxtel or on a Free to air channel here in Australia. I miss seeing Leno’s great monologue’s & his famous Headlines segment.

  3. Yeah David what is the latest word on why we still don’t get The Tonight Show here, on FTA or Foxtel? It would also be nice if someone would pick up Jimmy Kimmel as well.

  4. Jimmy Fallon works hard on his show. It’s very clear that he puts a lot of himself and his own material into it. He would be a great replacement for Leno. Although it would be hard to believe Leno wouldn’t continue on in TV in some form. He’s an institution over there

  5. Given what happened to Conan I would not want to be Fallon right now.

    Re the NBC ratings, record low in the last 2 months, since Parenthood ended in January, no wonder they are doing so bad LOL

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