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
Upfront update: Now Fox is done
Trump to Univision: I want $500 million
Lester Holt starts strong as ‘Nightly News’ anchor
Sunday’s ‘BET Awards’ slips on Twitter
NBC’s ‘Ninja’ and ‘Island’ grow
Wack job: A Donald Trump rantalogue
Programming blog: Latest pickups and cancellations
Upfront update: CBS nears finish line
NBC to Donald Trump: You’re fired
Peek into Jerry Seinfield’s apartment
‘Zoo,’ best when the claws are out
Soccer showdown: U.S. vs. Germany
Readers get it wrong on Trump and NBC
- David 'Doc' O'Connor becomes CEO at Madison Square Garden Co.
- Ali Salama rises to publisher at Bloomberg Pursuits
- Nigel M. Smith becomes U.S. entertainment writer at The Guardian
- Peter Oborne becomes political columnist at The Daily Mail
- Kaelyn Forde becomes executive editor of news at Refinery29
- Patrick McGraw becomes SVP and GM at Marketing Management Analytics
- Peter Roland becomes Toronto VP and GM at Mode Media
- Patrizio Spagnoletto becomes CMO at SteelHouse
This week’s top movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s cable ratings
This month’s new media traffic data
This week’s younger viewer ratings
Part-time media buyer job in Lake Bluff, Illinois
Media buyer/planner wanted in Louisville
Assistant media planner opening in Atlanta
Media planner position in Minneapolis
Media buyer position in Sacramento