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NBC Formally Announces Leno’s Return to Tonight Show

NBC confirmed today that former late night host Jay Leno will return to The Tonight Show from 11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. beginning March 1, 2010 and that Late Night with Jimmy Fallon will continue to be broadcast from 12:35-1:35 a.m. (ET). The announcements were made by Jeff Gaspin, Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment. The statement from the network formally puts an end to the late night shenanigans between NBC brass, Leno and uber-host Conan O’Brien.

“We’re pleased that Jay is returning to host the franchise that he helmed brilliantly and successfully for many years,” said Gaspin. “He is an enormous talent, a consummate professional and one of the hardest-working performers on television.”

Leno previously hosted The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from May 1992-May 2009.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon made its broadcast debut on March 2, 2009 with Saturday Night Live alum Fallon as the host of the comedy-talk show. The program serves as a platform for comedy, music and A-list talent out of NBC’s Rockefeller Center Studio 6B. Fallon is joined by his house band — the critically acclaimed, Grammy-winning hip-hop band The Roots. Earlier, Fallon launched his Late Night video blog (or “vlog”), giving viewers behind-the-scenes access to his preparation for the show’s official launch at

Fallon joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1998 and quickly became an audience favorite for his impressions of actors and musicians as well as for creating many memorable recurring characters. In 2000, he became co-anchor of the segment Weekend Update alongside Tina Fey. Fallon also appeared in the Emmy Award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers, and his feature films include Almost Famous, Taxi and Fever Pitch.

Lorne Michaels, Emmy Award-winning creator of Saturday Night Live, is Late Night’s executive producer. Michael Shoemaker, also an Emmy Award winner, is the producer, bringing over 20 years of experience at Saturday Night Live. Gavin Purcell, from G4’s critically praised Attack of the Show, serves as co-producer. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with Broadway Video Entertainment

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