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Late Night At NBC Upfronts: Jay Leno To “Pass The Baton” To Jimmy Fallon During Winter Olympics; Seth Meyers To Start Feb. 24

BREAKING…NBC‘s Upfront presentation today officially announced that Jay Leno will end his 22-year run on The Tonight Show during the week leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics which start February 7th. And that Jimmy Fallon will be introduced during the second week of the Sochi games when ratings are at their highest. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said Fallon will settle into his 11:30 PM Tonight Show slot on Monday, February 24th, followed by the debut of Late Night With Seth Meyers at 12:30 AM.

Related: Live-Blog: NBC’s Upfront Presentation

NBC Broadcasting chief Ted Harbert kicked off the upfront by explaining the changeover with this understated description: “Things are shifting and changing in late-night.” But if any of the media buyers or advertisers in the audience thought NBC was going to candidly say why they’re taking off the network’s #1 Tonight Show host for two decades, they got a joke instead. Promising a “slight change” in late night, Greenblatt deadpanned, “I’m stepping down in 2014 and Jay Leno will be taking my job.” Later, Greenblatt offered as explanation only the ”increasingly competitive” late night landscape and that the network wanted to “pass the baton while still No. 1…” Then he launched into praise for the guy he’s replacing. ”We owe a great debt of gratitude to Jay Leno and extend Jay our sincerest thanks for an unparalleled run.” Stressing how Leno “always has … Read More »

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NBC Reups With Specials Boss Doug Vaughan, Adds Late-Night To His Duties

NBC has renewed its contract with SVP Special Programs and Alternative Doug Vaughan, with his expanded responsibilities including and oversight of most of the network’s late-night programs. Now SVP Special Programs and Late Night, he will shepherd Saturday Night Live, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Last Call With Carson Daly. He will remain based in New York and report to alternative and late-night president Paul Telegdy, who will continue to oversee The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on the West Coast. The move is part of the restructuring in NBC late night, which started last month when Telegdy added late-night to his purview and the network’s long-time head of late-night Rick Ludwin stepped down, followed by the exit of VP Nick Bernstein. A former supervising producer on Today, Vaughan will retain responsibility for NBC’s specials and several alternative series including such East Coast-based fare as the upcoming A Michael Buble Christmas as well as the Golden Globe Awards, New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly, and The Miss Universe Pageant.

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Q&A With Emmy Awards Host Jimmy Fallon: Conan May Be There, Jay May Not…

Jimmy Fallon, age 35, took over the reins of NBC’s Late Night franchise in March 2009. But now he’s hosting his highest-profile gig to date. That’s because the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast live on NBC. (His Late Night with Jimmy Fallon already is a 2010 Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media – Nonfiction.) Fallon spoke with Ray Richmond for about what he’s learned from the late-night trenches, how he wants to host the Emmys, and why he reads Deadline:

Deadline Hollywood: Can you first reflect about what it’s been like taking over NBC’s Late Night for 18 months?

JF: I’ll tell you, if it wasn’t for Conan, I wouldn’t have this job. He kicked butt for 16 years, 17 years, whatever, and then I came in. So I owe him a lot. And I’m thrilled with the way things are working out for him. But as for what was going on when I started hosting, I just kind of kept my head down and kept working hard and just looking for the next joke. I wasn’t really in the mix of all of that. You know, I just stuck to my thing. I had good people giving me advice.

DH: Do you have your sights set next on The Tonight Show?

JF: The one thing I’ve learned from [Letterman and O’Brien] is that hosting Late Night is a one-way ticket to not hosting The Tonight Show.

DH: But now you’re hosting the Emmys. Are you nervous?

Jimmy Fallon: Actually, yeah, a little nervous but more excited. And I’m feeling pretty prepared. I could do this thing tomorrow if they could get the cameras on.

DH: What kind of marching orders has the TV Academy or NBC given you? The Academy in particular has a reputation for being controlling.

JF: The Academy has been great to us. Almost no notes, really. I think the only note was that we had to give out awards at some point. But no one needs to tell me this isn’t the Primetime Jimmy Show. The Emmys is such a bigger audience. I’m not going to be that same guy you see in late night. I don’t want to push too hard because, you know, it’s not really about me. It’s more about celebrating television and giving everyone who’s there face time.

DH: Can you make fun of the network that’s airing the Emmys and signs your paychecks?

JF: They haven’t restricted me in any way. If it’s funny, they don’t care. And they’ve always been that way. No one’s telling me anything like, don’t go here, don’t talk about Conan [O’Brien]. We’ll touch on the stuff the network’s gone through. We’ll probably have a couple of jokes in there about all of the late-night stuff. You can’t not talk about it. And we have a couple of ideas with Conan…

DH: Isn’t NBC scared of violating his severance agreement?

JF: Nah, it’s all cool. He’ll be there. At least that’s the plan. We’re not sure Jay [Leno] is going to be around. We hope he comes, too. We’re not sure right now.

DH: Anything specific you can mention about the telecast?

JF: Not really, because surprise is the best thing. I don’t want to ruin anything. I can tell you that the opening’s going to be good. I think we’re going to do some musical stuff. We booked J-Lo and Steven Tyler so far, so that’s pretty awesome. Gonna be big. At least that’s the rumor. It’s just all about having fun. But you can’t take it too far. Coming from Saturday Night Live, we kind of know how far you can push things.

DH: What do you see as your job hosting the Emmys?

JF: I think my job is just to welcome everybody and then keep it light and keep it moving. That’s especially important for the people in the audience, because after an hour and a half, let’s be honest, like 85% of them are already losers. Only one out of 5 or 6 of them has won. Once that happens, you just want to get on with it and get to the after-party. You know going in that this can be grueling, so the important thing is to be funny but also to support each other and keep it respectful, too. Read More »

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NBC Renews ‘Last Call with Carson Daly’

By | Friday August 20, 2010 @ 12:36pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It is the often-forgotten member of the NBC late-night lineup that stayed clear of the network’s recent late-night shakeups. But quietly, Last Call with Carson Daly will reach a decade on the air after NBC announced today that it is renewing the daily 1:35 AM-2:05 AM show for a 10th season with Stewart Bailey returning as executive producer. Additionally, Alex Coletti (MTV’s Unplugged) as the new executive producer of the network’s annual NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly.

“I really feel that Last Call has hit its stride,” said former MTV star Daly. “I am glad Stewart is coming back because he is incredibly smart and he owes me 35 dollars. Likewise, Alex is great, he produced MTV’s ‘Unplugged.’  He assures me we will have electricity for the New Years Eve show.” Coletti’s credits also include the halftime shows for Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXV.  Coletti’s production company also produced the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular for NBC.

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