The Word: Will Jimmy Fallon replace Jay Leno?

Leno and Fallon at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Will this season be Jay Leno’s last?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, it’s all but guaranteed. Two “high-level industry” sources tell the mag that NBC is going to replace Leno with Jimmy Fallon as host of “The Tonight Show,” in a bid to get younger viewers.

Leno, who signed a contract through 2014, could be replaced at the 11:35 p.m. time slot by Fallon by this summer, possibly leading up to yet another awkward late-night shuffle. The reason for the move? Jimmy Kimmel’s impressive  audience since he was moved to the same time slot by ABC in January. “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,” says a source.

Another situation? If Dave Letterman retires next year, which he has been hinting toward, there is a chance CBS could try to steal Fallon. For their part, NBC denies the report.

And where is poor, poor Conan O’Brien in all this? Hopefully somewhere updating his LinkedIn profile through his tears


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