Fallon's "Tonight Show" deal brings the comedian to new heights as he takes over for talk show veteran Jay Leno. The late night NBC show will change hosts by February.
Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show" deal reportedly took place Tuesday night, as NBC executives closed the deal with the talk show host. Bill Carter of The New York Times and Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter both reported that Fallon would take over for Leno, but that the "contract extension" with the network was still unknown. The news followed Friday's development that Fallon fired his manager during "preliminary conversations with NBC about a new contract," Deadline reported.
- (Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
NBC executives want Fallon settled in time for February's Winter Olympics, according to THR. Seth Meyers, host of the "Saturday Night Live" skit "Weekend Update," could be slated to take Fallon's place at 12:35 a.m.
Fallon and Leno are well aware of the rumors flying, though neither has publicly confirmed the details surrounding the negotiations. The two made fun of the rumors in a skit Monday, where the pair sang about who would host the "Tonight Show."
"Congratulations, Jimmy," Leno said in an announcement Wednesday. "I hope you're as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you're the old guy. If you need me, I'll be at the garage."
"I'm really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow," Fallon joked.
NBC also hopes to lock down the key 18-34 demographic with the change to a younger host. Although Leno has the best ratings overall, Jimmy Kimmel's late night show posed a significant threat.
"We are purposefully making this change when Jay is number one, just as Jay replaced Johnny Carson when he was number one," Steve Burke, NBCUniversal CEO, told TheWrap. Jimmy Fallon is a unique talent and this is his time."