NBC, we have been down this road before. First, flashback to the earlier 1990s to see how terribly they handled the Johnny Carson situation following his retirement from “The Tonight Show.” Then, jump back to what went down earlier this decade between Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. While the network may consistently have the #1 program in late-night, they seem to consistently do an awfully terrible job at bridging the gap between one late-night host and the next.
So will things go better come the inevitable time in which Jimmy Fallon is ushered in to replace Leno at 11:34 p.m. Eastern time? Let’s hope so, but for now the network’s programming head in Robert Greenblatt is not even interested in going down that road. As a part of his chat with reporters at the Television Critics Association, he explained (as a part of a discussion about Jimmy Kimmel moving into direct competition) that since Leno just recently extended his contract with the network for more of “The Tonight Show,” they don’t feel comfortable talking about it for the time being.
Given Fallon’s broad comedy and his consistent effort and creativity, it is largely believed that he will eventually be the replacement for Leno. After all, he is in many ways the anti-Jay: he’s not really that much of a comedian, but he is a gifted performer who excels in doing silly things, creating sketches, and showing off his impressions and his singing voice. We argue that no man puts in more work night in and night out to create a good show than Fallon, which is why we awarded him our Best Late-Night Escape for 2012.
What do you think: is Fallon a lock to replace Leno, and when do you think it will happen? Be sure to share your thoughts below, and also head over to the link here if you want to find out some more on Leno via Jimmy Kimmel.