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Fallon to take over 'Tonight Show' hosting duties in 2014 - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Fallon to take over 'Tonight Show' hosting duties in 2014

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Jay Leno, host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," left, and Jimmy Fallon, host of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" backstage at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, file) Jay Leno, host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," left, and Jimmy Fallon, host of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" backstage at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, file)
NEW YORK -

NBC announced today that Jimmy Fallon will step into Jay Leno's shoes as host of "The Tonight Show" next spring.

Leno will wrap-up his hosting duties after 22 years of headlining the iconic late-night show. Fallon will then take over hosting duties to carry on the franchise.

"Congratulations Jimmy. I hope you're as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you're the old guy. If you need me, I'll be at the garage," Leno said in a statement.

Along with the hosting change, production of "The Tonight Show" will move from Los Angeles to its original home at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

Fallon has served as host of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" since March 2009, when he took over for Conan O'Brien. O'Brien briefly took over hosting duties of "The Tonight Show" before Leno's return in March 2010 due to a ratings drop.

Fallon's "Late Night" program airs at 12:35 a.m., after Leno.

"I'm really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow," Fallon joked.

Of the change, NBC explains that it is making the transition from Leno to Fallon while Leno is #1 ahead of the show's ABC and CBS time-period competition in 18-49 aged viewers and total viewers.

"We are purposefully making this change when Jay is #1, just as Jay replaced Johnny Carson when he was #1," NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said. "Jimmy Fallon is a unique talent and this is his time. 

"I'm thrilled he will become the sixth host of 'The Tonight Show' at exactly the right moment, in conjunction with our coverage of next year's Winter Olympic Games from Sochi, Russia."

Taking over executive producer duties from longtime EP Debbie Vickers will be Emmy Award winner Lorne Michaels ("Saturday Night Live," "30 Rock").

"I also want to congratulate and thank Debbie Vickers and her 'Tonight Show' team for producing an entertaining, first-class show every night for the past two decades," Burke said. "Debbie's role in the creative and popular success of this franchise cannot be overstated."

NBC says plans for Fallon's successor will be announced at a later date and that plans for that time period are "currently are in development."

It was not immediately clear if Fallon's "Late Night" band, the fan-favorite hip-hop group The Roots, will follow the host to his new time slot.

Shortly after the announcement, The Roots' ever-vocal drummer, Questlove, tweeted, "What's this about The Tonight Show?"

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