Is NBC "Grooming" Howard Stern to Replace Jimmy Fallon on "Late Night"?
There's been some talk that NBC is secretly planning to give JIMMY FALLON "The Tonight Show" when JAY LENO'S contract is up next year, even if Leno isn't ready to step down. And the "New York Post" reports that NBC is "grooming" HOWARD STERN to replace Fallon on HIS show, "Late Night", which of course airs right after "The Tonight Show". The "Post" credits this to anonymous "sources close to" Stern.
There's no official word from NBC or Stern, and there probably won't be, UNLESS it's a denial. NBC has already denied rumors that they're planning on moving Fallon to "The Tonight Show", and Leno's people wouldn't comment.
The "Post" suggests that, by bringing Stern to "America's Got Talent" last year, NBC was able to show that he CAN be tamed for TV, and he can appeal to a younger audience. That's important because the main reason NBC would swap Leno for Fallon is to chase the key demographic of 18- to 49-year-olds. If Stern didn't appeal to that group, they could lose the young viewers Fallon would potentially attract. (Fallon is two decades younger than both Leno and Stern. Fallon is 38, Stern is 59, and Leno is 62.)
Stern's wife Beth backs that up. She tells the "Post", "All these little kids recognize him now as the judge from 'America’s Got Talent'. Usually it's their dads. But now it's screaming little kids. People are now seeing him for who he really is." She adds that she's "going to" try to talk him into moving to late night TV, however, she doesn't say anything specifically about the rumor he could replace Fallon, so that quote may be a little out of context.