Jay Leno, longtime host of NBC's "The Tonight Show," will step down early next year and be replaced by Jimmy Fallon, currently the host of NBC's "Late Night," ending a long, successful and occasionally turbulent run for Mr. Leno that was briefly interrupted when NBC tried moving him him to 10 p.m.
As part of the transition in spring 2014, "The Tonight Show" will be returning to New York, NBC said today in an e-mailed statement, confirming developments that had been trickling out into the press over the last few weeks. Lorne Michaels will be executive producer.
The announcement, expected after NBC designated Mr. Fallon as Mr. Leno's heir, marks a changing of the guard at the most-watched show in late-night television. Mr. Leno, 62, who had been critical of NBC management recently as stories surfaced of an imminent change, said today that he supported the transition. "Congratulations Jimmy," Mr. Leno, host for 22 years, said in the statement. "I hope you're as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you're the old guy. If you need me, I'll be at the garage."