It's finally official: Jay Leno's days are numbered.
NBC just announced that the current host of "The Tonight Show" will be airing his final episode on May 29, 2009. The network is putting him on mandatory retirement as part of a plan to retool their late night line-up.
Current host of NBC's "Late Night" Conan O'Brien will ascend to the late night throne, seizing the coveted 11:30 p.m. slot June 1, while Conan's former slot will be filled by talk show newcomer and funnyman Jimmy Fallon. Fallon will take the reins sometime in spring after a test run that will be broadcast online.
You need to try him out online? I've always seen Fallon as hit or miss, but if you don't have enough faith in him to put him in the chair and say "Go!", then maybe he's not you man...
In any case, reports have said that Leno is (understandably) disgruntled about this whole situation and may be eyeing a spot over at the Mouse network (ABC), current home to Jimmy Kimmel Live! It'll be interesting to see what happens when all this goes down: NBC shifts they're entire late night line-up, ABC may shift theirs to accomodate Leno and CBS may have to come up with some sort of response to the whole mess.
Sorry, but I think Leno's fine where he is for now. He still has good, solid ratings and obviously enjoys what he's doing. While I tend to lean more towards O'Brien's comic style, he's fine where he is for now and will take the plum time slot eventually. Let Jay do what he does best and stop screwing around with one of your big guns, NBC!