Fallon Inks Deal to Replace Leno

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Reports say that Jimmy Fallon has closed a new deal with NBC that will pave the way for him to replace Jay Leno in the 11:35 p.m. time slot. 

Fallon’s move has been rumored to be happening for weeks.

But NBC has stumbled once again with their PR and has refused to confirm the succession, or even talk about the possibility.

NBC's ineptness has been a gold mine for Leno with jokes about the situation and the NBC suits themselves. 

The Hollywood Reporter writes that it's still not clear is when exactly Fallon will take over Tonight. 

THR’s source says some NBC execs want to launch Fallon’s New York-based Tonight in February during network's high-rated Winter Olympics coverage, but producer Lorne Michaels is said to prefer to give Fallon a little more time. Plus, NBC would owe Leno a significant penalty if it took him off the air before his contract expires.

The timing and nature of the Fallon announcement also is said to be in flux, with some at NBC said to believe that the network should wait to confirm the Tonight transition until it can close a deal with Fallon’s replacement.

The strong frontrunner for that 12:35 a.m. job is said to be Saturday Night Live stalwart Seth Meyers, who could be installed as the new Late Night  host when Fallon takes over Tonight. Meyers, like Fallon and his predecessor, Conan O’Brien, is a Michaels protege. "It will be Seth unless something goes awry [in the dealmaking,]" says a source close to the situation.

H/T Hollywood Reporter