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Jimmy Fallon To Take Over For Jay Leno On NBC's 'Tonight Show' In Spring 2014

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Late night TV viewers take note, NBC has confirmed that Jimmy Fallon will replace Jay Leno as host of "The Tonight Show." As NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports, the move will happen in the spring of 2014.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Jay, is it true?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Is Jimmy Fallon taking over "The Tonight Show"?

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD)

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: On each of their shows, Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon have been spoofing months of gossip and speculation about what would happen to "The Tonight Show." They even sang a duet about the rumors a la "West Side Story."

JIMMY FALLON: (Singing) In the news all they do is say I'm replacing you. They think I can woo the demo.

JAY LENO: (Singing) So the network said here's an idea: Pack your bags, take a hike NBC ya...

BARCO: Now, NBC has finally made it official. Fallon will replace Leno next year, and will relocate "The Tonight Show" from, as they say, beautiful downtown Burbank to New York City. This isn't the first time the network announced plans to replace Leno. In 2009, Conan O'Brien took over as host and Leno had his own primetime show. It was a disaster. Leno was quickly reinstated on "The Tonight Show" and eventually Conan O'Brien resurfaced on cable.

In the past few months, Leno has been making jokes about the network being number five in the ratings, and bashing NBC executives for stabbing him in the back. But in a statement, Leno congratulated Fallon, who he throws to every night at the end of his show.

LENO: Thanks for watching, everybody. Jimmy Fallon, coming up next.

(APPLAUSE)

BARCO: Now the guessing game is on for who will be the next host of Jimmy Fallon's current show. Perhaps fellow "Saturday Night Live" alum Seth Meyers. Mandalit del Barco, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Alt.latino, and npr.org.
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