Is NBC Planning on Having Jimmy Fallon Replace Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" in 2014?
The "New York Daily News" reports that NBC executives have begun "quietly" exploring the option of giving "The Tonight Show" to JIMMY FALLON when JAY LENO'S contract expires in 2014. Naturally, they're looking to hand the reins to someone younger, so they can attract younger viewers, and Fallon is about 25 years younger than Leno. (Fallon has hosted "Late Night" since March of 2009.)
But the question is: Will Leno finally be willing to leave at that point? And if not, would NBC actually force him out, or will they just cave and keep him around until he's ready to walk away? (For real this time.) There's no official comment on any of this, but even if there was, it probably wouldn't mean much.
CONAN O'BRIEN had a longstanding arrangement with NBC and Leno to take over "The Tonight Show" in 2009, and we all remember how that worked out.
Plus, there's this: DAVID LETTERMAN'S contract is also up in 2014, and apparently there's a "long unsaid understanding throughout the TV industry" that Leno won't step down before Dave does.
Earlier this year, Fallon told PIERS MORGAN that he wouldn't turn down the "Tonight Show", but he also didn't consider it the "holy grail." He has also joked, "If there's one thing I've learned from Dave and Conan, it's that hosting ["Late Night"] is a one-way ticket to not hosting 'The Tonight Show'."