(LOS ANGELES) — It appears Jimmy Fallon is one step closer to taking over The Tonight Show.
The Hollywood Reporter says Fallon has “closed a new deal” with NBC that sets him up to replace Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show next year.
It was reported weeks ago that NBC plans to hand over the program to its Late Night host.
The exact date when Fallon would succeed Leno is up in the air. Leno’s contract ends in September 2014, but there’s been talk that NBC may want to make the switch around the time it airs the Winter Olympics next February.
NBC recently confirmed that it is building a new set in New York for Fallon, thought it hasn’t specifically addressed speculation that it will be used for a Fallon-branded Tonight Show.
Fallon and Leno poked fun at the rumored transition earlier this week with a musical sketch that aired during their programs.
The Hollywood Reporter says Saturday Night Live star and head writer Seth Meyers is the leading candidate to host Late Night once Fallon leaves.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Communications
Sarah Bringhurst, OK.com