LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - “Saturday Night Live” veteran Jimmy Fallon has sealed a deal to succeed “Late Night” host Conan O’Brien on NBC in 2009, sources said.
O’Brien, whose show airs at 12:35 a.m., is moving to Los Angeles next year to replace Jay Leno at “The Tonight Show,” which airs an hour earlier.
NBC is expected to make the announcement on May 12 during its “upfront” presentation to advertisers in New York. The network declined comment on Thursday.
Fallon, 33, co-starred on “SNL” for six seasons, and co-hosted its “Weekend Update” segment. He left the show to focus on making features, although such efforts as “Fever Pitch” and “Taxi” fell flat at the box office.
Fallon’s new gig as “Late Night” host stems from a development deal he signed with NBC in early 2007. He will probably stay at O’Brien’s Studio 6A at New York’s 30 Rock, although details have not been confirmed.
The move further cements NBC’s late-night transition, which is making Leno a highly sought-after free agent. ABC and Fox are reportedly circling the top-rated comic, while NBC is trying to keep him in the company fold with a new show.