This January 2013 publicity photo released by NBC shows Jimmy Fallon, host of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” holding a thank you note during a photo session in New York. NBC on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 announced its long-rumored switch in late night, replacing incumbent Jay Leno at “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon and moving the iconic franchise back to New York. Leno will wrap up what will be 22 years of headlining the iconic late-night show in Spring 2014. “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels will take over as producer of the new “Tonight Show.” (AP Photo/NBC, Mark Seliger)
NEW YORK (AP) — NBC on Wednesday announced its long-rumored switch in late night, replacing Jay Leno at the “Tonight” show with Jimmy Fallon and moving the iconic franchise back to New York.
Fallon will take over in about a year, the switch coinciding with NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Veteran “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels also will take over as executive producer of “Tonight.”
NBC made no announcement on who would replace Fallon at the 12:35 a.m. “Late Night” slot, although Seth Meyers of “Saturday Night Live” is considered a strong candidate.
The change at “Tonight,” the longest-running and most popular late-night talk show, had been widely reported but not confirmed by the network until Wednesday. NBC reportedly just wrapped up negotiations with Fallon on a contract extension.
Steve Burke, chief executive officer of NBC Universal, said the network is purposefully making the move when Leno is still at the top of the ratings, just as when Leno replaced Johnny Carson at “Tonight” in 1992.
“Jimmy Fallon is a unique talent, and this is his time,” Burke said.
Leno, in a statement, offered his congratulations to Fallon.
“I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re the old guy,” he said. “If you need me, I’ll be at the Login to read more