CONFIRMED: Jay Leno Leaving Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon Taking Over

Image via Kevin Winter/Getty
NBC has announced that Jay Leno will ending his run as host of The Tonight Show! After 22 years, Jay will be stepping down in spring 2014, with Jimmy Fallon replacing him. NBC confirmed reports of the switch in a statement today.

"Jay Leno is an entertainment icon, making millions of people laugh every weeknight for more than 20 years. His long reign as the highest-rated late-night host is a testament to his work ethic and dedication to his viewers and to NBC," said Steve Burke, Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal. "We are purposefully making this change when Jay is no. 1, just as Jay replaced Johnny Carson when he was no. 1."

"Jimmy Fallon is a unique talent and this is his time," he continued. "I'm thrilled he will become the sixth host of The Tonight Show at exactly the right moment, in conjunction with our coverage of next year's Winter Olympic Games from Sochi, Russia."

Both Jimmy and Jay were in good spirits about the move. "Congratulations Jimmy. I hope you're as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you're the old guy," Jay, who took over the show from Johnny Carson in 1992, said. "If you need me, I'll be at the garage," he added.

Jimmy joked of his new time slot, "I'm really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow."

NBC says plans for Jimmy’s Late Night show at 12:35 a.m. are "currently in development and will be announced soon."

I think it's great that Jay is stepping down while he's still out on top. He's a legend in TV, and I don't want to see him going out at anything less than his prime. Jimmy will be a great host for the show when he takes over, I'm sure!

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