Report: Jimmy Fallon to Take Over as Host of 'The Tonight Show' by Fall 2014

Categories: Late Night TV Ratings

Written By

March 20th, 2013

Jimmy Fallon Justin Timberlake

The New York Times reports that NBC is preparing for a changing  of the guard at The Tonight Show. Though a time table has yet to be finalized, the network plans for Jimmy Fallon, current host of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,  to replace Jay Leno as host by fall 2014 when Leno's contract expires.

When Fallon takes over, The Tonight Show will move from Burbank, California to New York City. Leno has recently joked about NBC's ratings woes during his monologue, allegedly upsetting the network's executives. Many more details about the transition can be found here.

 
  • Douglas in TN

    Nonsense about Paar being bitter. And I would disagree about sad. He spent many happy decades with his wife and daughter, saw every corner of the world. Paar just walked away from the medium…he didn’t have the weird vanity Letterman and Leno have.

  • Gary Middleton

    “Paar just walked away from the medium…he didn’t have the weird vanity Letterman and Leno have.”

    Fiction. Paar repeatedly came back to TV, and it was the medium that walked away from Jack.

  • Gary Middleton

    One blogger with some connections claims the reason Leno didn’t talk about the situation on the show is because terms are being worked out. In other words, not because Jay is necessarily being wise or mature or rising above anything.

    Very plausible, and might set the stage for a version of Leno that’s- to me- far less watchable.

  • GARebelman

    If they wanted to keep Jay in some capacity (if they are still fearful that is), they could have him do a weekend show of some sort. Like a Saturday ordeal or Sunday. Wouldn’t’ affect prime time or Fallon.

    @Gary – Then why did Fallon bring it up twice as soon as his monologue started? Does this blogger know what either one is thinking about all this? The Hollywood reporter says Fallon is a bit nervous about it all.

  • Steven S

    Here are my predictions -

    Leno replaced by Fallon, show moves to New York.
    Fallon replaced by Justin Timberlake, show moves to LA

    Letterman replaced by Conan (again), show moves to LA

    Just like when Conan replaced Letterman the first time in 1994, it will take some time, but eventually he will end up on top – exactly how he would have with the Tonight Show if NBC wasn’t so stupid and short sighted.

  • Adam

    I hope Jay does make guest cameos on other shows. I’d love to see him on Letterman. I don’t see the NBC jokes stopping anytime soon. He’s leaving, so he’ll keep bashing the network until he walks out the door.

  • Nick

    lol, Conan was never going to end up on top.

    NBC can’t keep Leno and be creative with him. That just aint gonna work again. After everything that’s been going on, seems like Leno’s relationship with NBC is as good as over as soon as his contract his up.

    What he does after that is anyone’s guess. But I highly doubt he will retire.

  • Neal

    Nick agree about Conan. He was never funny and never going to be on top. Even his TBS show should be cancelled and it’s a miracle he’s hanging on.

    I agree with the idea of Leno doing a once a week show. The guests and ratings will be huge! NBC should want to do it or another major network can step up!

  • Nick

    First joke of the night went to NBC. I’m quite enjoying this one-NBC-joke-a-night Leno’s got going here. But I don’t know, the way Leno mentioned it, combined with the way Fallon mentioned it last night – it seems very sarcastic to me, but they’re not denying it. Who knows what the hell is doing on.

  • Gary Middleton

    “@Gary – Then why did Fallon bring it up twice as soon as his monologue started? Does this blogger know what either one is thinking about all this? The Hollywood reporter says Fallon is a bit nervous about it all.”

    I don’t feel like Fallon really said anything. It was an allusion.

    No, the blogger has no insight into the hosts’ thoughts. The Fallon comment you pass along makes perfect sense. It’s hard enough to launch a new show without any extra expectations or scrutiny that comes from having replaced a top rated program.

  • Gary Middleton

    “I’d love to see him on Letterman.”

    The world wants to see that, Adam. And Jay certainly wanted to do it, badly, for a long time. Maybe he will, but I’ll bet the other side. Reason being that Dave spoke so negatively about Jay for so long that too much of Dave’s audience now believes Jay is satanic. A singer or actor or political figure could still go on in that circumstance. But when you’re a comedian, you need the crowd to like you or the gig is doomed. The Ed Sullivan Theater jury pool is too tainted at this point, imo, for Jay Leno to walk in there and attempt comedy.

  • Adam

    Nick, Jay and Jimmy weren’t going to confirm on their shows that changes were being made. Because the ink isn’t dry and no announcement has been made.

  • Douglas in TN

    But Neal/ Mario, isn’t it fun to know that Conan O’Brien will be on his show on TBS after Jay Leno will be exiled into the land of retired talk show hosts?

    And Gary doesn’t know his late night history too well. Paar returned for a brief run on a 1973 cycle of late night shows on ABC. By then you could tell he didn’t care much for the format, and how culture had changed in the medium the format. To say the industry walked away from him is not accurate.

    But with this latest transition, as all of the leaks have come from NBC, an announcement has been made without an announcement having been made. If Bill Carter ends up doing a volume 3, it will be interesting to know when the decision was being made. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that some regretted bringing Leno back in 2010 as soon as his ratings slipped below Conan’s. But watchers could tell that Comcast has had a dissatisfaction with Leno from the time they bought the outfit.

  • Gary Middleton

    “And Gary doesn’t know his late night history too well. Paar returned for a brief run on a 1973 cycle of late night shows on ABC. By then you could tell he didn’t care much for the format, and how culture had changed in the medium the format. To say the industry walked away from him is not accurate.”

    Fiction. Paar’s run was brief because his ratings were terrible, and his beef with the ABC network was they weren’t putting him on often enough. Unfortunately we can’t link here anymore but here’s some reality:

    “Jack Paar Tonite was floundering in the ratings. Paar couldn’t seem to figure out why. ABC’s then vice-president, Tom Mackin, remembers, “He telephoned me one day to ask if I had any thoughts on the show. I wanted to tell him he was up to his old campaigns against marijuana, long hair and other manifestations of the sixties. It was as though he had been asleep for ten years – had never seen The Graduate, Hair or All in the Family. I also wanted to tell him that doing 20 minutes on the size of Goldie Hawn’s breasts no longer shocked TV audiences … but being in the public relations business, I said none of these things. As the ratings plummeted, Paar called me several times to ask me what I thought of this program or that. I sensed that he did not want advice …”

  • Gary Middleton

    Remarkable to see EW online, a source of so much anti-Leno stuff over the years, do an article basically arguing cogently for Jay Leno to remain host of Tonight. Laying out the very simple arguments about as well as it would be done by our top posters like Anonymous and JC:

    ““I’m still trying to make sense of it,” says one late-night insider not affiliated with NBC. “I don’t understand it on many levels. I don’t understand why a network doing so badly looks at the one part that’s winning and says, ‘Let’s create chaos there.’ They already created a s–t storm at the Today show. Why would they want to create drama in late night?””

    They also lay out the late night ratings, season-to-date, both demo and total.

    I don’t agree with the premise, I think replacing Jay is the right move. But it’s wild to see any mainstream publication put together an article so logical and accurate. And it creates the kind of pressure Fallon could surely do without.

  • Dani

    Okay, I like Fallon and Leno. I watched Fallon and he’s soooo much like the old Johnny Carson format (monologe in front of a curtain, emcee on his side to talk to, dressed up, funny etc…). That being said, I’m not seeing anything inovative and unique. Leno is Leno (but better off trying to not be “hip” since he just is not “hip”).

    Best bet is NOT trying to fill any Tonight Show host or timeslot. Let it go. If you move Jimmy to 11:30 then move him and his current show to that timeslot and let go of the Tonight Show format and franchise. That’s the way to go….

  • Gary Middleton

    Dani, the problem is there’s no evidence that innovative and unique translates into successful ratings. Neither Carson nor Leno were innovative on Tonight and for the most part they dominated for half a century. Not everyone wants their minds blown right before they sleep.

    They might not want it so much earlier either. For years we heard the traditional 4-camera sitcom was dead. Biggest show on TV now? A traditional 4-camera sitcom. Only reason Conan’s extremely unique and innovative show does better than a 0.3? The lead-in is a traditional 4-camera sitcom.

  • Neal

    Doug, you don’t know that. I’ll bet you Jay will be on the air as long as HE wants! He’ll just move to a once a week show on a MAJOR network.

    On the other hand nobody watches Conan and he’s completely forgotten!

  • kscottk11

    “Doug, you don’t know that. I’ll bet you Jay will be on the air as long as HE wants! He’ll just move to a once a week show on a MAJOR network.”

    Neal,

    Leno’s not going to reduce himself again to be a second tier host. He’s not going to host a once-a-week program nobody is going watch.

  • j

    John Stewart rescue us!!!!!!!

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