NBC has identified the last piece in its late night succession plan, naming Jimmy Fallon as the new host of "Late Night" when Conan O'Brien moves to "The Tonight Show" in 2009.
The announcement was made today by Marc Graboff and Ben Silverman, Co-Chairmen, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, at a press conference at the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center.
"We couldn't be happier to have Jimmy back on NBC and to have our number one-rated late night team fully in place for the future," said Silverman, "Jimmy is more than just a likeable guy and a great comedian, he is genuinely interested in what people have to say."
"Jimmy's proven track record and personality make him a natural for this important role that will bring a new generation of fans to 'Late Night,'" said Graboff. "He will put his own distinct mark on late night humor just as he did on 'SNL' and in his other creative endeavors."
Added Rick Ludwin, Executive Vice President, Late Night and Primetime Series, NBC Entertainment, "Simply put, Jimmy has all of the qualities for a late night host — in addition to being funny, he loves talking to people on and off camera, he's a talented comedy writer and his time at 'SNL' demonstrated not only his ability to entertain, but also the work ethic and dedication it takes to succeed at hosting a nightly show."
A recognized comic talent, Fallon has demonstrated an ability to deliver versatile, standout performances while always staying grounded in his stand-up roots.
Fallon first garnered attention in 1998 when he joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" and quickly became an audience favorite for his memorable recurring characters and spot-on impressions and in 2000, Fallon became the co-anchor of the "SNL's" signature segment "Weekend Update" alongside Tina Fey.
Fallon ventured off into other television roles, including Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg's Emmy award-winning miniseries "Band of Brothers." A favorite among the MTV audience, Fallon hosted the MTV Movie Awards twice and hosted the MTV Video Music Awards in 2002. Fallon made an impressive turn guest hosting "The Late Show" for an ailing David Letterman in 2003.
Fallon made his feature film debut in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous" and went on to appear in numerous films including Woody Allen's "Anything Else," "Fever Pitch" opposite Drew Barrymore and the indie "Factory Girl."
The premiere date for "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" will be announced at a later date. Lorne Michaels is executive producer. "Late Night" is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with Broadway Video. NBC is America's Late Night Leader with the number one-rated "Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "Last Call with Carson Daly" and "Saturday Night Live."