No deal is in place at this time, but NBC has made a commitment to the comedian, promising that he will succeed Jay Leno. The show will move back to New York and away from Los Angeles, returning to the roots of its original 1954 debut.
The latest the switch will happen is fall of 2014, but there is speculation that Jimmy Fallon might be ready to host as early as May, with NBC hoping to remove Leno from the air while his contract is still in play, making him ineligible to host on another network until September. Other reports have Fallon taking over in February 2014 to coincide with the Winter Olympics, but executive producer Lorne Michaels wants more time for the transition.
NBC has already begun quietly building a new studio at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, which will serve as home to The Tonight Show. The studio will be a state-of-the-art facility constructed by Comcast, who completed a full takeover of NBC this week.
NBC is hoping to move faster than expected in getting Jimmy Fallon to the hosting seat, trying to curb the ratings boom ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! has experienced since moving timeslots to compete with both The Tonight Show and Late Show with David Letterman. Though, at this time, Jay Leno has continued to stay number one in the ratings, which is complicating the matters. Leno also recently made jokes at NBC's expense, which some speculate accelerated Jimmy Fallon's succession to the most coveted late night seat.
An official announcement is expected this May. A replacement is currently being sought for Late Night, with Saturday Night Live news anchor Seth Meyers said to be in the front running.