Jimmy Fallon will succeed Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show in spring 2014. NBC confirmed the move today after weeks of rampant speculation, with plans also calling for Tonight to make a historic return to New York City — far from its longtime home of Los Angeles.
Fallon is expected to assume the host's chair once NBC wraps its coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics — a timeline The New York Times reports Mr. Leno suggested to get Fallon's Tonight Show off to a strong start. The last time NBC attempted a similar transition was in 2009, when Conan O'Brien infamously cut ties with the network after being asked to move the show's time slot. Somewhat bizarrely, NBC seems to no longer acknowledge O'Brien's brief run: its press release claims that Leno has hosted Tonight since Johnny Carson departed the iconic franchise in 1992.
Throughout his tenure at Late Night, Fallon has openly shared his passion for consumer technology. Aside from the Apple MacBook that's become a permanent fixture on his desk, Fallon has showcased video games, referenced countless internet memes, and generally aimed his show at a much younger and "modern" audience than Leno (and David Letterman, for that matter). Our own Joshua Topolsky has also been a regular guest on Late Night. Fallon's appointment as host of The Tonight Show suggests NBC is confident he can maintain the show's longrunning success with a new generation of viewers.