- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Fallon reportedly replacing Leno, moving to NY
Question of the Day
LOS ANGELES (AP) - As Jay Leno lobs potshots at ratings-challenged NBC in his “Tonight” monologues, speculation is swirling the network is taking steps to replace the host with Jimmy Fallon next year and move the show from Burbank to New York.
NBC confirmed Wednesday it’s creating a new studio for Fallon in New York, where he hosts “Late Night.” But the network did not comment on a report that the digs at its Rockefeller Plaza headquarters may become home to a transplanted, Fallon-hosted “Tonight.”
The New York Times reported the plan in a Wednesday story, citing unidentified network executives. The Hollywood Reporter had a March 1 report about a Fallon-Leno switch, which was denied by the network.
Looming over NBC is its messy, failed effort to replace Leno with Conan O’Brien, which ended in 2010 with Leno regaining “Tonight” and NBC losing O’Brien _ who got a $45 million exit deal _ to TBS. Leno’s current “Tonight” contract expires in September 2014.
That occurred under a different regime, before NBCUniversal was taken over by Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp., which has a reputation for discipline. While NBC dithered and backtracked on its “Tonight” succession plan involving O’Brien, Comcast is likely to be more decisive.
“I don’t know if it’s possible to have a less orderly transition than Leno-O’Brien,” said analyst Brad Adgate of media-buying firm Horizon Media.
Fallon contacted Leno in an effort to help smooth the potential switch, according to a Hollywood Reporter story Wednesday.
The latest roiling of the late-night waters began in January when ABC moved “Jimmy Kimmel Live” back to 11:35 p.m. Eastern to offer direct competition to Leno and CBS’ David Letterman.
With the potential for Kimmel, 45, to draw advertiser-favored young viewers away from Leno (62) and Letterman (65), it’s unsurprising that their networks might step up their succession planning.
At 38, Fallon is the youngest of the pack.
Leno, who took over “Tonight” from Johnny Carson in 1992, did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment. But he might be taking advantage of other ways to communicate _ the “Tonight” stage and its audience of millions.
Although late-night hosts are known for needling their network bosses on-air, the timing of Leno’s latest jabs at NBC seemed to make the network particularly uncomfortable. They reportedly asked him to stop; he hasn’t.
“You know the whole legend of St. Patrick, right? St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland _ and then they came to the United States and became NBC executives,” Leno joked on Monday’s show.
On Tuesday, he played off a news report about a Serbian woman with a rare brain condition that causes her to see the world upside down: “Isn’t that crazy? It’s unbelievable. She sees everything upside down. In fact, she thinks NBC is at the top of the ratings.”
He kept up the pace Wednesday, according to a NBC transcript released after the show’s taping and with gibe included. Leno quipped that scientists may be able to clone extinct species and bring them back from the dead, “so there’s hope for NBC.”
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Colorado poll shows women tuning out Democrats' 'war on women' strategy
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world