After weeks of rumors, NBC has confirmed that Jay Leno will be leaving the "Tonight" show next spring to make way for Jimmy Fallon as host. Leno also issued a release with the news. The network added that the program will be returning to New York with "Saturday Night Live" head honcho Lorne Michaels as producer.
The New York Times reports that the move will take place after the conclusion of NBC's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. According to the Times, that timeframe was Leno's idea, despite recent reports that he was upset about being forced out.
Mr. Leno said he suggested, “If we really want to give him a good send-off, how about after the Olympics?” He said the Winter Games in February would give NBC the chance to promote the new host to big audiences and avoid more competitive start-up times like the summer. “ ‘The Tonight Show’ was No. 1 when I got it,” Mr. Leno said. “I’ve kept it No. 1 one for about 90 percent of my term here, and I would like to see Jimmy keep it at No. 1, which I’m sure he will.”
Deadline Hollywood notes that it's ironic that Fallon will replace Leno after the Winter Olympics, as that same event was used to relaunch Leno as "Tonight" show host in 2010 after a failed stint for Conan O'Brien.
Concern over ABC bumping Jimmy Kimmel up to the 11:35 p.m. slot, along with the possibility of CBS host David Letterman retiring soon, caused NBC to consider reshuffling its lineup to compete in the looming battle for younger viewers, according to an earlier Times report. There is no word yet on who will replace Fallon in his current later timeslot.
What do you think? Are you happy with the move?
Jon Stewart will once again trade zingers with the commander in chief. Just a day after President Barack Obama's campaign got a bump from a sturdy debate showing by Vice President Joe Biden, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" announced that Obama will appear on the program for the sixth time on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 11 p.m.
The president will almost certainly receive some good-natured ribbing from Stewart about Obama's much-ridiculed first debate performance on Oct. 3. But with his second showdown looming Tuesday, two days before "The Daily Show" taping, Obama has a chance to restore his debate reputation before being subjected to the host's barbs.
In any case, Obama and Stewart seem to have a fairly easy rapport, which makes it likely there will at least be some laughs. Take a look at a clip from Obama's Oct. 27, 2010 appearance on the show.
This weekend, "Family Guy" funny man and RISD grad Seth McFarlane kicked off the 38th season of "Saturday Night Live." The hour opened with Jay Pharoah as President Barack Obama, a role previously played by Fred Armisen, and Jason Sudeikis reprised his role as Mitt Romney. Taran Killam debuted as Romney running-mate Paul Ryan. McFarlane brought his "voices" (and a surprisingly solid ability to carry a tune) to the opening monologue. Korean rapper Psy and a guitar-strumming John Mayer made surprise cameos later in the evening. Frank Ocean performed "Thinkin' 'Bout You" and "Pyramids," and the cast's new featured players made minor on-screen debuts. Memorable impressions of the night included: Honey Boo Boo and her mama, June, Clint Eastwood and chair, and Ryan Lochte.
Next week, Joseph Gordon-Levitt will get a second stab at hosting and will be joined by first-time musical guest, Mumford and Sons.
What was your opinion of the "Saturday Night Live" season premiere? What did you think of McFarlane and Ocean? Anyone missing Kristin Wiig, Andy Samberg, and Abby Elliot? Thoughts on the new cast members? The skits? Comment here.
[Top image via AP Photo/NBC, Dana Edelson]
Arsenio Hall is back on the scene.
The comedian, who shot to fame in late '80s and early '90s with his popular late-night talk show, "The Arsenio Hall Show," is returning to his TV roots with a new program on set to air on CBS in fall 2013.
"I know it's very crowded out there in late night, but I really believe that what I do, is a little different than the way the other guys do it," Hall said during an interview with "Entertainment Tonight."
Hall also mentioned that his ideal first guest would come from the hip-hop world, like Eminem or Jay-Z.
About Viewer Discretion
ContributorsMatthew Gilbert is the Globe's TV critic.
Sarah Rodman is a staff TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Glenn Yoder is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.