Stern to replace Fallon ?, There are so many revolving doors in NBC's late-night lineup right now that the latest rumors add up to such a stretch that they're almost good enough to be true: When Jay Leno gets replaced by Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show sooner than expected, Fallon could cede the Late Night desk at 12:35 a.m. to none other than the self-proclaimed "king of all media," Howard Stern. It's a chair first occupied by a jerky young Dave Letterman, but it's within the realm of possibility... sort of.
That's according to a report from New York Post TV critic Linda Stasi, who claims Stern is being "groomed" by NBC to replace Fallon once the former Saturday Night Live star gets called up to the big chair. The Hollywood Reporter reported over the weekend that we could see a Leno-to-Fallon handoff announcement as early as this May, with Fallon taking over Tonight with a soft launch in Summer 2014, followed by a full turnover in the fall. The reported logic behind the Jay-to-Jimmy move is that Leno is losing ground in the coveted 18-34 demographic to the slightly edgier Jimmy Kimmel over at ABC. The move could also be about money: Leno is freaking expensive. And, as Grantland's Joe Reid pointed out, Fallon and Leno joked about getting the boot at the Golden Globes last year:
So, all of that movement would leave Fallon's Late Night spot open for the taking. There is no obvious in-house NBC host that the network has been grooming for the late-late-night spot, unless you count Carson Daly, whom NBC has been grooming since 2002. And we know Conan's not coming back. But would NBC splurge on giving Stern on another nighttime outlet? Would it be too much of a risk on all sides? Let's dream a late-night dream.
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