Jimmy Fallon Claims Conan's Seat


tPF Bish
Jul 7, 2006
NBC Late Night: Jimmy Fallon Arrives, But Is Jay Leno Leaving?

NBC this month will make official the hiring of the ''SNL'' vet to host the 12:30 a.m. show when Conan moves to ''Tonight'' in 2009 -- but will Jay Leno move to stay in the late-night picture?

By Dan Snierson

It's time to play musical chairs — specifically, the ones that the late-night hosts sit in. NBC is set to announce on May 12 that Saturday Night Live vet Jimmy Fallon will take over next year for Conan O'Brien (who'll assume the Tonight Show throne currently occupied by Jay Leno, in a move made public way back in 2004). Peacock execs first approached Fallon about the gig in 2003, the year that he guest-hosted on Letterman. While he left SNL in 2004 to pursue a film career that has yet to take off (Taxi, Fever Pitch), he's recently been honing his stand-up chops across the country. In Fallon's favor: SNL/Late Night With Conan O'Brien exec producer Lorne Michaels will oversee the new show. ''Jimmy's a smart pick,'' notes one network exec. ''He's a young, cute guy that will draw women in — and I don't bet against Lorne Michaels.''

The real question, however, is whether Leno will Jaywalk out of NBC's door when his contract expires at the end of 2009. He's said to be miffed about having to relinquish The Tonight Show, which has remained highly profitable during his tenure. (The program is TV's most watched late-night talk show, and is rumored to make in excess of $100 million in profits annually.) NBC is more than eager to keep Leno in the fold, and has already offered him several options, including prime-time specials and/or hosting another show — basically, anything that doesn't air at 11:30 p.m. (That said, Leno has made it known that he really likes that hour, and views himself as a late-night guy.)

Of course, the slumping network is just as concerned with holding on to Leno as it is with preventing him from jumping elsewhere. While the others can't officially bid for his services until next year, there's speculation that Leno could wind up at Fox (wide open at 11:00 p.m.!) or ABC (which would have to displace Nightline or the increasingly buzzy Jimmy Kimmel Live!). Sony Pictures Television, meanwhile, has hinted at an extremely lucrative syndication deal. ''The guy is an ATM machine,'' declares the network exec. ''Everybody's going to go after Jay. That's a given.'' In fact, some even wonder if he's valuable enough for NBC to consider backing out of its deal with O'Brien, whose ratings lead has shrunk this year. (If the network were to do so, it would pay a reported $40 million penalty to O'Brien, not to mention lose a critical on-air personality to a rival.) NBC insiders deny that scenario. ''Everyone signed off on the plan — including Jay — and we're moving forward,'' says one exec. ''Are we getting cold feet? The answer is no.'' Whatever happens, the after-hours business will be no snooze in the coming year. ''Not since the wars with Leno and Letterman has there been such an exciting time,'' says one late-night veteran. ''It's a good time to be a spectator.''



Jan 16, 2006
according to this article, NBC is strong-arming guests of Fallon not to appear on Kimmel or Letterman. Personally, I have nothing against Jimmy Fallon but I'm a Kimmel fan. This annoys me and I hope it backfires.
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NBC Demands Loyalty From Jimmy Fallon Guests: No ABC or CBS for You!

Anthea Mitchell Google+ Twitter | + More Articles March 06, 2014

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Jimmy Fallon is still a new face on The Tonight Show, but NBC is clearly feeling good enough about his ratings to issue new rules for guests of the show that could dissuade some of them from appearing. According to TMZ, NBC is requiring that guests who wish to appear on Fallon’s show do not appear on any similar talk shows — late night or early morning — with CBS or ABC. This doesn’t include other NBC shows of course, such as Today Show and Dateline, but TMZ reports that there have already been some issues with guests The Tonight Show was looking to get on the show.

While some might argue that the move was premature, seeing as Fallon’s time on the show has been somewhat short so far, it’s undeniable that his ratings are impressive. According to the Los Angeles Times, The Tonight Show drew 10.4 million viewers in the first week it ran — the largest audience for The Tonight Show since back in May of 1922 when Johnny Carson hosted it. Not too shabby. Of course, the first week is bound to draw in a curious audience — the show’s newness is at least a portion of what people are interested in. Yet the second week proved highly successful as well, according to the Los Angeles Times, with 5.5 million total viewers, still managing to beat Jay Leno’s average of 4 million viewers. That also (easily) beats ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel and CBS’s David Letterman, with viewing averages that have been under 3 million a night.
So what’s Fallon’s secret? Could it be that he faced off against Annette Bening in an epic game of flip-cup? The dance duos with both Mrs. ***** and Will Smith certainly can’t have hurt. Unfortunately for Fallon’s replacement over at Late Night with new host Seth Meyers, things aren’t going quite as well.