It’s Official: Jimmy Fallon Will Replace Jay Leno as Tonight Show Host in Spring 2014

Posted by at 10:20 am on April 3, 2013

Jimmy FallonNBC confirmed the worst kept secret in Hollywood on Wednesday, announcing that current Late Night frontman Jimmy Fallon will succeed Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show in Spring 2014.

As part of the transition, The Tonight Show will, as expected, return to its original 30 Rock home in New York and will be exec-produced by Saturday Night Live‘s Lorne Michaels (aka Fallon’s EP on Late Night.)

“Congratulations Jimmy,” Leno said in a statement. “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.”

Added Fallon: “I’m really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow.”

“Jay Leno is an entertainment icon, making millions of people laugh every weeknight for more than 20 years,” said NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke. “His long reign as the highest-rated late-night host is a testament to his work ethic and dedication to his viewers and to NBC.

“We are purposefully making this change when Jay is No. 1, just as Jay replaced Johnny Carson when he was No. 1,” the exec continued. “Jimmy Fallon is a unique talent and this is his time. I’m thrilled he will become the sixth host of The Tonight Show at exactly the right moment, in conjunction with our coverage of next year’s Winter Olympic Games from Sochi, Russia.”

No official word on who will replace Fallon at Late Night, but sources confirm SNL‘s Seth Meyers remains the odds-on-favorite for the job. NBC would only say, “Programming plans for the 12:35 a.m.  time period currently are in development and will be announced soon.”

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