Rumors are flying that NBC is getting ready to announce that Jay Leno is on the way out of "The Tonight Show" according to The Hollywood Reporter on March 2. Two high level late night industry sources state that NBC is shifting toward an announcement in May that Leno's last television season will be 2013-14 for the late night show. Sources are anticipating the network to move Jimmy Fallon from his "Late Night" spot to the coveted 11:35 time slot during the summer of 2014 before formally making the change.
It is anybody's guess whether NBC executives will actually carry out the "Tonight" switch. Most people who know Leno's personality realize that the meticulous comic would be hesitant to leave now, especially before his CBS rival, David Letterman, decides to retire. Both Letterman and Leno are signed through 2014.
The word out is that the network will bring in Fallon partially out of apprehension about the ABC competition, since they moved Jimmy Kimmel to the 11:35 time slot in January. A source that knows and understand the network's thinking states:
"The more time Jimmy Kimmel is in that slot, the more the young audience goes that way, the harder it is for Jimmy [Fallon] to keep that audience.”
This moving around thing played out before in 2009. Leno retired so that there was a place for the hottest talk show host at that time, Conan O'Brien. It ended up being a total disaster at NBC when Leno came back from retirement and Conan left the network.
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