COMEDY

Jimmy Fallon To Take Over 'The Tonight Show' From Jay Leno In Spring 2014

Apr 03, 2013 | Updated Apr 03, 2013

NBC has officially announced that Jimmy Fallon will take over "The Tonight Show" in 2014, and Jay Leno will end his run as the host of the show. Bill Carter of The New York Times reports that Fallon, currently the host of "Late Night," will begin hosting the show in February.

Fallon has hosted "Late Night" since 2009, and along with his house band The Roots, has developed a variety show that blends music, celebrity impressions and an enthusiastic approach to the talk show format to make it one of the most unique late night programs on the air.

Lorne Michaels executive produces Fallon's current show, and will produce "The Tonight Show" in addition to his "Saturday Night Live" duties.

The news follows months of rumors that Fallon would take over the show when Leno's contract expires next year. The show will be taped at 30 Rock in New York, the first time the show has been taped there since Johnny Carson left in 1972.

In a statement, departing host Leno said, "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."

NBC has attempted a "Tonight Show" host transition once before. In 2004, they announced that Conan O'Brien, then the host of "Late Night," would take over "The Tonight Show" in 2009. By the time the transition occurred, Leno was still on top of the ratings, and NBC gave Leno a primetime show to prevent him from going to another network. However, faltering ratings of both programs led to NBC installing Leno as the host once again.

The network did not mention O'Brien's stint as the "Tonight Show" host in its press release about the Fallon transition, instead claiming that Leno has hosted "The Tonight Show" since 1992.

Leno told the Times that he felt better about this transition. "The main difference between this and the other time is I'm part of the process. The last time the decision was made without me. I came into work one day and -- you're out."

This transition was largely initiated by the threat posed by "Jimmy Kimmel Live!", which moved from midnight to 11:35 earlier this year. Although Leno's program continues to be number one in both overall ratings and the 18-49 demographic, Kimmel's show has proven to be competitive.

Check back here for further updates.

Photo of Jimmy Fallon rocking out by Jenny Anderson/Broadway.com.

Also on HuffPost:

Late Night Hosts Before The Fame

03/29/2013 10:35 AM EDT

Bill Carter Sounds Off On Late Night Wars

Bill Carter, the New York Times reporter who has covered late night TV since the '80s, stopped by HuffPost Live to talk about the Fallon/Leno rumors earlier this week. Check out the video below to see what Carter had to say, as he is joined by HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps, as well as comedian Myq Kaplan and HuffPost TV critic Maureen Ryan.

03/29/2013 10:28 AM EDT

Jay Leno Takes Shot At NBC Over Contract

Anyone who thought Jay Leno might go gentle into that good night retirement must have been fooling themselves. Leno is still taking jabs at NBC during his monologues, going so far on Wednesday as to make mention of his contract, which doesn't expire until 2014. Watch the clip above.

03/22/2013 1:03 PM EDT

Fox Wants Jay Leno

Could Jay Leno head to Fox if he is replaced by Jimmy Fallon as the "Tonight Show" host next year?

The New York Post reports that Fox affiliates are strongly in favor of giving Leno an 11 p.m. talk show if and when he exits NBC. Steve Pruett, the chairman of Fox's affiliate board, told the Post that Leno's ratings success on NBC would make him a natural choice to headline late night programming on Fox stations across the country.

Read more here.

03/22/2013 12:55 PM EDT

Seth Meyers To Replace Jimmy Fallon?

As if there haven't been enough rumors flying this week about the possible replacement of Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon, Page Six reports on a replacement for Fallon on "Late Night": Current "Saturday Night Live" head writer and Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers.

According to their unnamed source, "Lorne Michaels wants Seth to take over from Fallon. It would be perfect for him. Tina Fey’s name had also come up, but she has said she was too busy to do it.”

Read the full story here

03/22/2013 12:32 PM EDT

Time Discuses 'Jaypocalypse 2'

@ TIME :

NBC to replace Leno with Fallon. What could possibly go wrong? | http://t.co/iAvHHPJdag (via @TIMECulture)

03/22/2013 12:30 PM EDT

Jay Leno Being Courted By Fox Affiliates: Report

Could Jay Leno head to Fox if he is replaced by Jimmy Fallon as the "Tonight Show" host next year?

The New York Post reports that Fox affiliates are strongly in favor of giving Leno an 11 p.m. talk show if and when he exits NBC. Steve Pruett, the chairman of Fox's affiliate board, told the Post that Leno's ratings success on NBC would make him a natural choice to headline late night programming on Fox stations across the country.

However, convincing the Fox network to sign Leno may be a tougher sell than convincing the affiliates. While nothing is confirmed yet, NBC's reported plan to move Leno aside in favor of Fallon is based on the projected value of Fallon's ability to attract a younger audience for years to come. Similarly, Fox attracts a younger viewership, and signing the 62-year-old Leno could be risky, despite his history of strong ratings ("The Jay Leno Show" notwithstanding).

Click here to read the full story

03/22/2013 12:28 PM EDT

NMA.tv Gives Leno, Fallon The Taiwanese Animation Treatment

Of course this was bound to happen:

03/22/2013 11:02 AM EDT

Fallon Jokes About The LAST Time Someone Tried To Replace Jay Leno

From last night's opening monologue on "Late Night":

@ rossluippold :

"Last time the Heat lost, Conan O'Brien was the host of the Tonight Show" -@jimmyfallon

03/22/2013 11:01 AM EDT

Jay Leno Mocks 'Tonight Show' Media Buzz In Opening Monologue

“Are you all excited about March Madness? Are you all into March Madness? People are talking about who’s in, who’s out, who’s gonna be eliminated -- and that’s just here at NBC," Leno joked. "I have never been in the paper this much. It’s fantastic.”

03/22/2013 8:27 AM EDT

New York REALLY Wants 'The Tonight Show' Back

If New York isn't trying hard to lure "The Tonight Show" back to Manhattan, it's doing a pretty good impression.

FULL STORY

2,440 Comments