Back in the spring, we learned that Jay Leno would be leaving “The Tonight Show,” but this time for good. “Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon is scheduled to take over with “Saturday Night Live” head writer and Weekend Update host Seth Meyers replacing him. Now we have the exact date of the Leno’s last stand.
Deadline has word “The Tonight Show” will air its last episode featuring Jay Leno at the desk on February 6th. However, since his contract expires in September, his cast and crew will be paid until then.
But while Jay Leno leaves the show on February 6th, Jimmy Fallon won’t get his start until February 24th because of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Fallon will host his first episode the night after the closing ceremonies, and Seth Meyers will also have his first episode of “Late Night” immediately after.
Fallon will be staying in New York City for “The Tonight Show” with Lorne Michaels executive producing. Although Leno won’t be involved with the show anymore, NBC still hopes to keep the comedian around the network for something. NBC Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt says, “Nothing would make us happier for Jay, a la Bob Hope, to have presence at the network, we’re really hoping to do that, post February.” Hopefully it’s not another attempt for a different talk show that will result in him taking back the show from Fallon, repeating the “Tonight Show” debacle between Leno and Conan O’Brien.
Here’s hoping Fallon can keep “The Tonight Show” intact as a late night staple so NBC doesn’t have to do any shuffling. For my money, I’m a bit more interested to see how Meyers fares with “Late Night” and a much different format than he’s used to at “Saturday Night Live.” We’re guessing he can bring some more lively changes and recurring bits and elements that made Fallon surprisingly entertaining to watch with his celebrity guests.
Will you be happy to see Jay Leno leave “The Tonight Show” and let Jimmy Fallon take over?
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