You may have already heard the rumors and the buzz floating around during the last couple of weeks but earlier today, NBC made it official: Jimmy Fallon will graduate from hosting “Late Night” to take over Jay Leno’s spot as host of “The Tonight Show” in 2014.
There’s no mistake Leno has been an entertainment icon for the past 22 years as he’s made millions of viewers laugh every weeknight since his start on the show. Regarded as the king of late night, Leno is currently number 1 in late night ratings and NBC states that the transition while Leno is still on top is intentional. As Leno replaced Johnny Carson when he was number 1, so too will Fallon replace Leno while he’s number 1.
Part of the reasoning in selecting Fallon to take over for Leno is in NBC’s hopes that Fallon will be able to attract more viewers in the key, advertiser-friendly 18-49 demographic. Many within this demo recognize Fallon from his skits on SNL and regularly watch his late night show “Late Night”. Leno remains positive about the transition saying, “Congratulations, Jimmy. I hope you’re as lucky as me to hold on to the job until you’re the old guy. If you need me, I’ll be at the garage.”
While some are nervous as to whether the transition will go smoothly or if it will blow up like Leno’s hand-off to Conan O’Brien in 2009, it’s looking more like the hosting change will stick. Doing their best to make ensure that happens; NBC is handing production duties over to Lorne Michaels who is in charge of both “Late Night” and “Saturday Night Live” as well as moving the show back to its original city of New York for Fallon.
For all you Fallon fans out there, you can look forward to him taking over the “Tonight Show” in spring of 2014 though the exact timing is vague. As for who will be filling Fallon’s shoes hosting “Late Night” several rumored names have been thrown around. Names like Howard Stern as well as Seth Meyers for example. Post who you’d like to see step into Fallon’s shoes in the comment section below.