It appears that Jimmy Fallon may be making the move to NBC’s The Tonight Show sooner rather than later. A new report from the New York Times claims that Fallon has received an offer to take over from Jay Leno as the host of The Tonight Show by no later than 2014. Moreover, the show will be moving from Los Angeles back to New York City. Fallon has excelled as the host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon since the show’s debut in 2009, and NBC appears to be very pleased with his performance thus far. There appears to be a bit of resistance to making the move to the Tonight Show so soon though, specifically from Late Night producer Lorne Michaels. Hit the jump for more, including who might replace Fallon on Late Night.
Though the New York Times has Fallon mulling over an offer to take over The Tonight Show next year, THR’s sources add quite a bit more to the story. Apparently some executives at NBC are keen on launching Fallon’s Tonight Show in February 2014 in order to take advantage of the ratings spike from the 2014 Winter Olympics, but others at the company—including SNL and Late Night producer Lorne Michaels—aren’t thrilled with the idea of rushing the transition.
An official announcement that Fallon will be taking over The Tonight Show is expected at NBC’s upfront presentation this May, but the network has reportedly already begun work on a new studio at 30 Rock in New York that would be the new home of The Tonight Show. NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt is said to be none too pleased with Leno’s recent jabs at the network on his show, and replacing him with Fallon sooner rather than later would prevent Leno from moving to a rival network before his contract expires in September of 2014.
As for Late Night, NBC executives are said to be actively looking for Fallon’s replacement. One possibility that I would personally be thrilled with is SNL alum/current head writer Seth Meyers. The move would certainly make sense given that Michaels produces both Late Night and SNL, and Meyers has plenty of experience behind a desk as the host of Weekend Update.
Whatever the case, expect to hear more details as May approaches. What appears to be certain, though, is that Jimmy Fallon will be the next host of The Tonight Show.