The question isn't if Jimmy Fallon will succeed Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show. It's reportedly just a matter of when.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fallon has closed a new deal that will allow him to replace Leno as the host of the Tonight Show just one day after the two hosts joined forces to joke about the situation on Monday's Late Night. According to the report, however, it is still being worked out when exactly Leno will pass the baton to Fallon.
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Some sources told the site that NBC would like to install Fallon as the new Tonight Show host during the network's 2014 Winter Olympics coverage. However, others say Fallon's current executive producer Lorne Michaels would like him to start the gig later on in 2014.
With Fallon poised to take over The Tonight Show, the question turns to who will be named the new Late Night host. The current front-runner for the gig is Saturday Night Live head writer and "Weekend Update" anchor Seth Meyers. "It will be Seth unless something goes awry [in the dealmaking]," a source close to the situation told THR.
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Rumors of Fallon moving to 11:35/10:35c first began in December. Meyers' name first emerged as a candidate for the Late Night spot two weeks ago.
Leno famously was ousted from his Tonight Show gig in May 2009, with then-Late Night host Conan O'Brien taking over weeks later. However, when O'Brien's ratings dipped, NBC moved Leno from 10/9c back to 11:35/10:35c the following year. O'Brien eventually moved to TBS, where his late-night show was recently renewed through 2015.
NBC reps could not immediately be reached for comment.
Do you think the time is right for Fallon to take over The Tonight Show? Who do you want to see replace him on Late Night?