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Jay Leno to Leave 'Tonight Show' Next Spring

Jimmy Fallon will step in as program moves back to New York

Jay Leno
Jeff Riedel/NBC
April 3, 2013 2:10 PM ET

After plenty of rumblings, it's official: Jay Leno will depart from NBC's The Tonight Show next spring, when Jimmy Fallon will take over. The show will also relocate back to New York, and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels will take over as producer. Fallon's successor at the 12:35 a.m. slot has not been announced, according to The Associated Press, though SNL's Seth Myers has been considered a prime candidate for the show.

Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon Address 'Tonight Show' Rumors With Duet

The timing of Fallon's new gig lines up nicely with NBC's coverage of next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Fallon and Leno joined forces earlier this week in a joint bit poking fun on the hosting rumors. "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," Leno said in a statement. "I'm really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow," added Fallon.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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