When Jay Leno’s contract expires in the fall of 2014 the “The Tonight Show” will reportedly have a new host and a new home. Sources say NBC is planning to replace Leno with “SNL” alum and current “Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon and will move the late night talk show to New York City where it began in 1954 with Steve Allen as host.
A New York Times report on March 20 alleges that NBC has made a “firm commitment to Mr. Fallon” for him to take over the hosting duties on “The Tonight Show.” NBC has not completed the deal with Jimmy Fallon, but sources say Fallon’s acceptance is all but a formality since the move would “represent a significant step up for him.”
There is no firm date for the changes to occur, but speculation is that the change will take place when Jay Leno’s contract expires in the fall of 2014, if not sooner. A senior executive spoke who spoke to the New York Times on the condition of anonymity said, “There is no way on earth that this is not going to happen.”
In the 1990s Jay Leno and David Letterman engaged in a contentious competition to see who would succeed Johnny Carson as host of “The Tonight Show” with Leno emerging the winner. Letterman went on to host his own late night talk show on CBS. Three years ago NBC made an effort to replace Jay Leno with Conan O’Brien with disastrous results, ending with Leno reinstated as “The Tonight Show” host. O’Brien moved to TBS with his own late night show, edging George Lopez out of his time slot. Eventually George Lopez’s late night talk show was cancelled by TBS.
No matter who emerges the host of “The Tonight Show” in the fall of 2014, there will more than likely be difficulty, especially if “The Tonight Show” moves to NYC. Fallon started his television career on “Saturday Night Live” which is live from New York every Saturday night, and one expects Jimmy Fallon may enjoy returning to his old stomping grounds.
All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior permissions from the author. Partial reposting is permitted with a link back to the original article.