The announcement makes official a scenario that most observers felt was the most logical succession plan for the host’s job on “Late Night.”
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Meyers is currently head writer and “Weekend Update” anchor on “Saturday Night Live.” He’s a performer right out of the Lorne Michaels mold — and, at age 39, he’s at the perfect age to take over “Late Night” and maintain the show’s appeal among younger viewers, many of whom already know and like Meyers from “SNL.” Michaels, of course, is executive producer of “SNL” and “Late Night,” and will assume control of “The Tonight Show” when Fallon takes over.
NBC’s announcement on Sunday fell short of revealing a specific premiere date for the new “Late Night with Seth Meyers” or, for that matter, the official debut of Fallon on “Tonight.” It has been expected that Fallon will take over “Tonight” following NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics next February. “Tonight” is moving from Los Angeles to New York for the Fallon takeover.
Why did NBC make this announcement today on a Sunday afternoon? Probably because the network wanted the news to get out in advance of tomorrow’s (Monday, May 13) announcement and presentation of its fall lineup. The new NBC late-night lineup that’s been taking shape for the last several months is expected to be a key part of NBC’s sales and promotions efforts next season, and we expect Meyers and Fallon (and possibly Leno) to appear personally at the NBC “Upfront” Monday at Radio City Music Hall in New York to promote the reconfigured late-night lineup.
Meyers has been an “SNL” cast member for 12 seasons, and head writer for seven.