Leno to step down, Fallon to take seat, NBC confirms

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FILE - This Jan. 13, 2013 file photo shows Jay Leno, host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," left, and Jimmy Fallon, host of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" backstage at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. NBC announced Wednesday, April 3, 2013 that Jimmy Fallon is replacing Jay Leno as the host of "The Tonight Show" in spring 2014. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, file)

NBC has announced its long-rumored switch in late night, replacing Jay Leno at The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in 2014 and moving the show back to New York.

The move had been widely reported but not confirmed by the network until Wednesday. Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels will take over as producer of the new Tonight Show.

Steve Burke, chief executive officer of NBC Universal, said the network is purposefully making the move when Leno is still at the top of the ratings, just as when Leno replaced Johnny Carson. Fallon will take over in conjunction with NBC’s coverage of next year’s Winter Olympic games.

Leno, in a statement, offered his congratulations: “I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re the old guy. If you need me, I’ll be at the garage.”

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