Executives at NBC told a Television Critics meeting yesterday that Jay Leno will be leaving The Tonight Show next year after his contract is up.
“We’re still talking to Jay about staying within NBC Universal beyond his deal on ‘The Tonight Show'” stated co-chairman Marc Graboff. “We can’t force him to do something, but we’re presenting him with a number of opportunities that we think would be great. We’re hoping he eventually thinks they’re great as well.”
Leno has been with The Tonight Show since 1992. He replaced the late and legendary Johnny Carson, who stepped down after 30 years.
Saturday Night Live alum Jimmy Fallon is set to be O’Brian’s replacement for Late Night. According to SNL and Late Night executive producer Lorne Michaels, the comedian-actor will start as host through online in order to attract viewers.
“We’ll do the show virtually leading up to it” Michaels said, “so that we can kind of experiment on it. One of the things that I learned from the first year of ‘Conan’ was how brutal it is finding a show on the air.”
Fallon will expected to start going Late Night next spring.
Source: New York Daily News