February 17 is going to be a huge night for NBC. The Winter Olympics will be dying down, and for Jimmy Fallon, this is an opportunity for him to prove himself as a titan in late-night. Specifically, we’re referring here to the spot after the local news.
The network is taking an enormous gamble with “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” especially when you consider all of the different variables that are involved with it. After all, they are basically replacing a show in “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” that was actually #1 in its timeslot … which seems almost like a counter-intuitive move. But, executives are desperate to try to make themselves feel somewhat new and hip, and a big part of that comes with getting a comedian / host who appeals to them. Jay Leno appeals to the 18-49 demographic as reruns of “Matlock.”
The first logo itself for the new “Tonight Show” is certainly classy enough, as it features the series’ trademark moon with the name of the show splattered across the front. To us, the move to revoke “with” and add “starring” to the title is a nice one that could put Fallon directly in touch with everyone who loves a little bit of nostalgia mixed in with their television. This is the way that it was back in the days of Johnny Carson, and the way that it will be again.
We do feel like Fallon’s version of the show is going to succeed much more than the version hosted by Conan O’Brien did, and with the big reason for that being simply an issue of audience and appeal. Jimmy is not going to have to change much of his show at all during the move, while Conan had to adapt some of his racier bits to the earlier timeslot. Jimmy has never really been a comedian who gets that inappropriate, and seems more focused on having a good time. This should ultimately play well with an audience.
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