The debate over what will become of Jay Leno’s coveted late night spot is finally over. Just days after Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon poked fun at the speculation over their late night run, NBC has announced that after 22 years on the air, Leno is set to vacate the 11:30pm time slot and hand it over to Fallon.
The former “Saturday Night Live” star will take control of “The Tonight Show” in Spring 2014 and the show will be filmed at 30 Rock Studio in New York. Lorne Michaels from SNL will serve as the show’s producer.
It has yet to be announced who will take over Fallon’s current show Late Night, which airs at 12:30 am.
In an official statement, Leno congratulated Fallon.
“Congratulations Jimmy,” Leno said. “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.” Added Fallon in a statement, “I’m really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow.”
Steve Burke, Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal also released a statement expressing his enthusiasm for the change.
“Jay Leno is an entertainment icon, making millions of people laugh every weeknight for more than 20 years,” said Burke. “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.”