Here’s the official word, courtesy of NBC News’ tweets:
— “JUST IN: Jay Leno will depart NBC’s ‘Tonight Show’ in Spring 2014; Jimmy Fallon to replace, NBC says.”
— “MORE: ‘Tonight Show’ will return to New York City in 2014; Lorne Michaels will be executive producer.”
As our Monkey See friend Linda Holmes has correctly said, the “late-night wars are so boring.” Still, as The New York Times points out, The Tonight Show is “the most storied and successful program in late-night television.” And this will return the show to where it started — New York.
Oh, and this time the change is for good, Leno insists. In 2009, you’ll recall, he left for prime time. The handover of Tonight to Conan O’Brien didn’t work. After nine weeks, O’Brien left the network and Leno headed back to late night.
But, Leno tells the Times:
“The main difference between this and the other time is I’m part of the process. The last time the decision was made without me. I came into work one day and — you’re out. … [Now] there really aren’t any complications like there were the last time. … This time it feels right.”
The Jay-to-Jimmy switch has been talked about for weeks, of course. Last night, the two funnymen sang about the saga.