NBC officially confirmed on Wednesday that Jimmy Fallon will be taking over “The Tonight Show” next year.
Fallon will succeed Jay Leno in the spring of 2014 as the host of “Tonight.”
Leno’s departure comes after 22 years with the show. That’s second only to Johnny Carson, who served as host for 40 years. As part of the upcoming transition, “Tonight” will be returning to its original home in 30 Rock in New York.
Emmy award winner Lorne Michaels (of “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock”) will serve as the executive producer. The show was first brought west to Burbank from New York by Carson in 1972.
When Conan O’Brien took over briefly, he shot the show at Universal City, where NBC moved most of its operations a few years ago. After Leno took the reins back again less than a year later, he opted to stay in Burbank, and NBC leased a couple of studios for him.
Burbank officials have expressed concerns about the show moving out. They say it’s a big part of the region’s tourism, in addition to the jobs it provides.
There’s no word yet on who will replace Fallon on “Late Night.”
NBC says plans for Fallon’s current 12:35 a.m. time slot are currently in development and will be announced soon. “Congratulations Jimmy. I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re the old guy,” Leno said in a statement. “If you need me, I’ll be at the garage.”
Fallon added: “I’m really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow.”
There has been much speculation recently about the future of “Tonight.” Leno has taken repeated shots at NBC and its executives in his monologues.
On Monday night, Leno and Fallon poked fun at the situation, performing a duet mocking all the talk about who’s in and who’s out.