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There are new rumors that late-night TV viewers will see another drastic change, with Jimmy Fallon reportedly being considered for Jay Leno’s Tonight Show gig.
According to The New York Daily News, the network has Fallon at the top of their list for potential Leno replacements, once Leno’s contract expires in 2014. The paper reports that talent agents are being contacted by NBC executives to find someone to host a show at 12:35 a.m., where Fallon’s Late Night currently airs.
Leno is currently being paid $15 million a year, a new contract he signed when he agreed to cut his paycheck in half amid Tonight Show layoffs. NBC is considering that, instead of re-signing him, to embrace the new younger demographic watching late-night TV.
ABC has already welcomed the younger demographic with open arms. Jimmy Kimmel Live will be moving up to 11:35 p.m., to go against Leno and David Letterman. The move will go into effect on Jan. 8.
If the report is true, NBC has to hope that the result will be different than the 2009 debacle, notes ABC News. That was the last time they tried to replace Leno, who was replaced with Conan O’Brien. Leno wasn’t happy and was given an experimental 10 p.m. slot that flopped and also kept viewers from watching O’Brien. Eventually, Leno got the Tonight Show back and O’Brien now has a successful show on TBS.
Leno and Fallon’s reps have not commented on the Daily News’ report and neither has the network.