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Jimmy Fallon will replace Conan O'Brien (when he replaces Leno...)

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"Oh, did I tell you, honey? I got the 'Late Night' gig." Actor Jimmy Fallon in bed with Chewbacca during filming for a promo for the 2005 MTV Movie Awards.

After months of speculation, former "Saturday Night Live" comic Jimmy Fallon has sealed a deal to succeed ‘‘Late Night’’ host Conan O’Brien on NBC in 2009, sources said.

O’Brien, whose show airs at 12:35 a.m., is moving into the 11:35 p.m. slot next year after ‘‘Tonight Show’’ host Jay Leno’s retirement, which was announced in 2004.

NBC is expected to make the announcement May 12 in New York.

The deal gives Fallon and ‘‘Late Night’’ executive producer Lorne Michaels enough time to assemble a team and prepare for Fallon’s takeover after O’Brien’s departure, expected in January.

It is not clear whether ‘‘Late Night’’ with Fallon will stay at Studio 6A at New York’s 30 Rock, but it is probable as O’Brien will be moving to the new ‘‘Tonight Show’’ home at Universal Studios’ Stage One.
NBC declined comment Thursday.

Fallon’s new gig as ‘‘Late Night’’ host stems from a development deal he inked with NBC in early 2007.
The move further cements NBC’s late-night transition that also is making Leno a highly sought-after free agent, with ABC and Fox reportedly already circling the top-rated late-night host. Meanwhile, NBC Universal is trying to keep him in the company fold with a new show.

The Hollywood Reporter

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on April 25, 2008 10:30 AM.

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