Changes to Late Night
2013 featured the biggest changes in the ever expanding realm of late night television since the 2009/2010 "Tonight Show" fiasco.
Arsenio Hall is back on the air, comedian Pete Holmes launched a new program to follow "Conan" on TBS, Chris Hardwick's internet based comedy panelist show "@midnight" secured a 40 week renewal on Comedy Central after an enormously successful launch last fall and Jimmy Kimmel finally received the coveted 11:30 p.m. time-slot on ABC.
2014 promises to shake up the late night landscape even more.
Now, in an effort to combat the younger skewing audience of "Jimmy Kimmel Live," NBC has once again fired Jay Leno, the long standing undisputed late night ratings leader and have decided to promote current "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon to replace Leno as the host of the "Tonight Show." Leno's final program will air on Feb. 6, after which the comedian's future career ambitions remain unclear.
"The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" will premiere on Feb. 17 following the conclusion of NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics in February. Under Fallon's tenure, the show will once again be filmed at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, the original home of the program until 1972, when Johnny Carson moved the show to California. "The Late Show with David Letterman" on CBS is also broadcasted out of New York. Considering the close proximity of the studios and the same nightly time-slot, expect an intense behind the scenes booking war between the programs to secure appearances by high profile guests.
Fallon promises that his version of "Tonight" will still be the same show as his current late night program, with the possible exception of extending the length of his opening monologue.
"I'm not going to change anything. It's more eyeballs watching, but it's the same show."
Meanwhile, current "SNL" head writer and "Weekend Update" anchor Seth Meyers will replace Fallon as the host of NBC's "Late Night". Meyers' version of "Late Night" will follow a similar format to past iterations of the program as well. However, Meyers promises to deliver an "SNL" infused silly, more comedy-oriented program with recurring fictional characters not unlike those seen on "Weekend Update" making appearances alongside "real" celebrities on the program. "Late Night with Seth Meyers" will debut on Feb. 24.
Notably, both Fallon and Meyers are alumni of NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Additionally, each man's respective shows are executively produced by Lorne Michaels, creator and executive producer of "SNL," thus giving Michaels control over all three of NBC's major late night programs.
Additionally, following his acclaimed stint as guest host of "The Daily Show" last summer, former show correspondent John Oliver has left the program entirely as he prepares to host his own news based comedy talk show, sometime later this year Sundays on HBO.
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