NBC Reportedly Preparing for Jay Leno's Exit
Jay Leno might end his stint as "The Tonight Show" host in 2014. Reports spread like wild fire that NBC will announce in May that the 2013-2014 television season will be the last for the veteran host as the network is said to be eyeing younger comedian Jimmy Fallon to take over the spot currently vacated by Leno, planning a soft launch in the summer of 2014 before a formal kick-off in the fall.
According to the sources, with ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" attracting more and more younger audiences at the coveted 11:35 P.M. time slot, "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" is looking to be an apt replacement when Leno finally ends his late-night hosting stint.
"We do not speculate on rumor," a representative for Leno responded on the Leno exit report. A dismissal or indifference towards the latest report is already expected, knowing how adamant Leno is in keeping the very much in-demand late-night spot and how reluctant he is to retire ahead of his biggest rival David Letterman over at CBS, who like Leno, is signed up only until 2014.
Besides his rivalry with Letterman, Leno has also irked known Letterman supporter Jimmy Kimmel, and has figured in an ugly late-night tussle a few years back with now TBS show host Conan O'Brien when he was still on NBC. Leno and O'Brien figured in an embarrassing public feud over who would do "The Tonight Show", with Leno succeeding, costing NBC a costly settlement with O'Brien.
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