- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
Jimmy Fallon replacing Jay Leno; ‘The Tonight Show’ moving to N.Y.: Report
Question of the Day
LOS ANGELES (AP) — As Jay Leno lobs potshots at ratings-challenged NBC in his “The Tonight Show” 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 Mr. 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.”
Looming over NBC is its messy, failed effort to replace Mr. Leno with Conan O'Brien, which ended in 2010 with Mr. Leno regaining “Tonight” and NBC losing Mr. O'Brien — who got a $45 million exit deal — to TBS. Mr. 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 Mr. O'Brien, Comcast is likely to be more decisive.
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 Mr. Leno and CBS’ David Letterman.
With the potential for Mr. Kimmel, 45, to draw advertiser-favored young viewers away from Mr. Leno (62) and Mr. Letterman (65), it’s unsurprising that their networks might step up their succession planning.
At 38, Mr. Fallon is the youngest of the pack.
Mr. 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 Mr. 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,” Mr. 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. Mr. Leno quipped that scientists may be able to clone extinct species and bring them back from the dead, “so there’s hope for NBC.”
“If they’re going to do it, it makes sense to do it when NBC is dominating television for 17 days,” he said, and can heavily promote the “Tonight” switch. “They could have Fallon in Sochi, talking it up.”
In the April issue of GQ magazine, “Late Night” producer Lorne Michaels (“Saturday Night Live”) said a transition to Mr. Fallon had “an inevitability to it,” adding that he was the closest to Carson that “I’ve seen of this generation.”
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
- Crime-ridden U.S. cities differ on ways to fight gun violence
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq