Jimmy Fallon to take over for Jay Leno

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NBC announced that Jimmy Fallon will officially take over for Jay Leno sometime before fall of 2014. Hopefully this works out better than the Conan O’Brien debacle just two years ago.

While the network has yet to complete a deal, it has made a commitment to Jimmy Fallon, the current host of its “Late Night” program, to have him succeed Jay Leno as the next host of “Tonight,” according to several senior television executives involved in the decision.

This is a smart move for NBC. Yes, Jay Leno is still beating Kimmel in the rating department, but not by much. And how many years does he have left? All of his fans are dying of old age. OK, that’s not true. He and Kimmel actually have the same number of 18-34 viewers. But we can all agree that Leno is the past and Fallon is the future, correct?

With ABC’s Kimmel already settled into his new time slot, NBC is allowing the former “Man Show” host to lock up a competitive advantage over Fallon. Both have their own unique style, but it’s clear they target the same audience. Kimmel utilizes video to perfection, from sketches to YouTube interaction, and Fallon’s bits, such as “History of Rap,” take over the internet each time a new edition is released. While these are inclusive to old geezers, they are obviously directed at a younger crowd.

NBC needs to get Fallon into the “Tonight” show before it’s too late. The real question will be if his shtick translates to an earlier time slot. Is the general public willing to watch a guy play beer pong with Maria Sharapova or quarters with Kristen Stewart? There’s only one way to find out. Let the late night battle begin…again.

For those who care about such things, it should also be noted that the “Tonight” show will also be moving back to New York. I don’t see whereas that makes a damn bit of difference, but then again, I’m not from NY. My main connection between Fallon and New York is the time he spent ruining every sketch on SNL by laughing uncontrollably. Thankfully his late night show has made up for that travesty in the past few years.

‘Tonight’ Show Expected to Return to New York, With Fallon [New York Times]