The search for Leno’s replacement starts anew
December 18, 2012
Stop us if this sounds familiar: NBC is looking for a younger comedian to take over “The Tonight Show,” and it’s considering giving the job to a man whose humor is perfect for late-late night but may not translate to a broader, earlier audience.
No, this isn’t a repeat of the Conan O’Brien-Jay Leno debacle circa 2009.
This is a whole new situation. A report out this week claims that NBC is eyeing “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” host Fallon as a replacement for Leno when the latter’s contract expires in two years.
Whether Leno actually wants to go is something else entirely. The last time NBC negotiated his exit, when O’Brien took over three years ago, Leno proved unready to surrender his seat, returning that fall with a disastrous nightly variety show that eventually led to his return to late night and O’Brien’s ouster.
One concern prompting the search for a replacement is that Leno will be competing with the much-younger Jimmy Kimmel on ABC come January, who could pull a more desirable audience to advertisers than Leno, whose viewers are aging.
Fallon, goes NBC’s apparent logic, would pull in a similarly young crowd. He’d also be cheaper than Leno, who took a steep paycut earlier this year when NBC slashed “Tonight’s” budgets.
But NBC must tread carefully. It can’t afford to play out the same disastrous scenario as before, when Leno was clearly uninterested in leaving.
The New York Daily News reports that NBC is also contacting talent agents for comics who could serve as a replacement for Fallon, who himself replaced O’Brien when he transitioned to “Tonight.”
Tags: abc, audience, conan o'brien, jay leno, jay leno replacement, jay leno successor, jimmy fallon, jimmy kimmel, late night, late night with jimmy fallon, nbc, talent, the tonight show, this week, tonight show, viewers, Whether Leno
NBC wins Tuesday with growing reality shows
Fox head of sales Jean Rossi is leaving
Forecast: A good but not great 2014
Second-best Emmys in eight years
Sans controversy, VMAs take a slide
‘Girlfriend Intervention,’ black on white
Tell us, what’s your take on automated buying?
A consolation trophy for Minnie Driver
A bigger iPad may be on the way
Cable overnights: ‘Love & Hip Hop’ stays strong
A ‘Full House’ revival? It could happen.
ABC and Fox shows hold up against Emmys
MTV’s ‘VMAs’ rock on Twitter
- Noah Mallin becomes North America head of social at MEC
- David Huehnergarth becomes client engagement director at LevLane
- Chris Seda becomes group director at 360i
- Jean-Michel Wu becomes chief talent officer at McCann Worldgroup
- Eileen O’Neill rises to global group president at Discovery Studios
- Tom Cibrowski rises to senior vice president at ABC News
- Karen Snyder Duke becomes health editor at Redbook
- Jon Ward becomes senior political correspondent at Yahoo
- Mollie Spilman becomes CRO at Criteo
- Kim Kardashian guesting on CBS's '2 Broke Girls'
This week’s cable ratings
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s top movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This month’s new media traffic data
This week’s younger viewer ratings
Needed: Receptionist for a media agency
Media buyer position in Greenville, SC
Digital media analyst job in Greenville, SC
Media planner/buyer opening in Detroit
Senior media planner/buyer job in Phoenix