Confirming earlier rumors, The New York Times has revealed that NBC is planned to smash the glowing purple void Jay Leno emerges from nightly, banishing him from The Tonight Show and ushering in a new era of Jimmy Fallon.
The report comes reputably from Bill Carter, The Late Shift writer continuing his work in this really specific topic. He claims that, while a contract with Fallon is not yet worked out, it's all but a done deal, and the transition is expected to occur in fall of next year. Such a thing, of course, was already attempted and failed a few years ago, when the network went through the notorious fiasco of giving Conan O'Brien the show, then handing it back to Jay when his 10 o'clock shift didn't work out as well for Dad falling asleep to. But as with any breakup, it's easier to make it stick if one of you just moves away, and as such, NBC will reportedly bring the show to Fallon, back to New York, where it first began in the '50s.
NBC still has yet to confirm the news, but in what could be a sign, Leno has been taking a lot of not-so-subtle jabs at the network all week. On Monday, he regaled his audience with a jest about the snakes Saint Patrick drove from Ireland going on to become NBC executives, while last night he reportedly japed:
According to several reports, scientists say they are getting closer and closer to being able to do Jurassic Park-style cloning of extinct species. Imagine that. Things that were once thought to be extinct could be brought back from the dead. So there's hope for NBC. It could turn around."
Tellingly, that joke would normally conclude with "Lindsay Lohan's career" and a couple guitar chords.