Jay Leno retirement? A new report says that Tonight Show host Jay Leno will be ousted in favor of Jimmy Fallon.
Jay Leno, a mainstay of late night television, may not be hosting the “Tonight Show” on NBC for much longer, an exclusive report has claimed.
Two inside sources at NBC told The Hollywood Reporter that network executives are planning on making the 2013-2014 “Tonight Show” season the final one with Leno at the helm.
The sources said that “Late Night” with Jimmy Fallon will take Leno’s 11:35 p.m. time slot instead.
However, NBC has denied the claims made by the two sources, who were not named, the Reporter points out. “We do not speculate on rumor,” stated a representative for Leno, the report also said.
The network executives might be moving Fallon to an earlier time slot to compete with Jimmy Kimmel, who has the 11:35 p.m. time slot on ABC. This would be done to get more of the coveted 18-49 age demographic, even though Leno’s ratings are on top.
“The more time Jimmy Kimmel is in that slot, the more the young audience goes that way, the harder it is for Jimmy [Fallon] to keep that audience,” a source was quoted as saying.
Leno left the “Tonight Show” to host another program at 10 p.m., which ended up not doing particularly well in terms of ratings. After a year of that, Leno was again named the host of the “Tonight Show.”
Leno, who started hosting the program in 1992 after Johnny Carson retired, also made around $15 million last year, even after a 50 percent pay cut, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal last September. The network said the move helped cut costs down for the show, which has a $100 million annual budget.
“Jay wins overall, but on any given night, it’s neck-and-neck in 18-49. I understand where they might have fear and also feel that they own the solution [in Fallon],” another network source told the Reporter.
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