NBC wants to boot Jay Leno as host of “The Tonight Show” when his contract runs out next year, and install “Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon in his place. The move comes just a few years after Leno took back the show from Conan O’Brien, whose short-lived stint saw a drop in ratings. And it’s happening despite the fact that Leno continues to draw bigger audiences than rival David Letterman and time slot newcomer Jimmy Kimmel.
But sources say that NBC wants to target younger viewers, especially now that Kimmel has moved up to 11:35. It seems too soon to hear rumblings of yet another succession plan, given what an epic fail the last one turned out to be, but writer Joel Keller of Antenna Free TV, a keen observer of the late-night television scene, isn’t surprised.
“Just because Leno got the job back doesn’t mean that NBC still didn’t want to see him leaving at some point,” Keller tells us. “And with Kimmel coming in at 11:30 and taking some of the [young viewers] away from Jay, they see the writing on the wall. They think this is the perfect time to get rid of Jay once and for all.”
I guess you could say what goes around comes around. There are just too many people out there who can’t stand this guy. Personally I’ve always been a Letterman fan but I’m usually asleep by 10pm anyway. I also happen to love Kimmel so it’s no surprise that this is happening. I’m sure Leno isn’t all that broken up about it. He can just drive in one of his million cars to shake it off.