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Heeere's Jimmy! Fallon to Succeed Jay Leno on 'Tonight Show'

Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013 | 1:46 PM ET
Jimmy Fallon appears on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.
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Jimmy Fallon appears on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.

Jay Leno says he will be leaving NBC's "Tonight Show" next spring, to be succeeded by Jimmy Fallon.

"Congratulations Jimmy. I hope you're as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you're the old guy. If you need me, I'll be at the garage," Leno, 62, said in a statement Wednesday announcing his departure after 22 years.

NBC also confirmed that the show will be moving back to New York when Fallon takes over. "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels will take over as producer of the new "Tonight Show."

The move has been widely reported but not confirmed by the network until now. NBC reportedly just wrapped up negotiations with Fallon on a contract extension.

NBC did not say who will replace Fallon in his current time slot, which is one hour later than the "Tonight Show."

"I'm really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow," the 38-year-old Fallon said in the announcement.

"Jay Leno is an entertainment icon, making millions of people laugh every weeknight for more than 20 years," said Steve Burke, chief executive officer of NBCUniversal. "His long reign as the highest-rated late-night host is a testament to his work ethic and dedication to his viewers and to NBC. We are purposefully making this change when Jay is #1, just as Jay replaced Johnny Carson when he was #1. Jimmy Fallon is a unique talent and this is his time. I'm thrilled he will become the sixth host of 'The Tonight Show' at exactly the right moment, in conjunction with our coverage of next year's Winter Olympic Games from Sochi, Russia."

NBCUniversal, parent of NBC and CNBC, is owned by Comcast.


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