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Meyers to replace Fallon on Late Night

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Jimmy Fallon (left) is handing the reins of his late-night show to Seth Meyers. Fallon will be moving up an hour  as Jay Leno's replacement on the Tonight show.

CHRIS PIZZELLO / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Jimmy Fallon (left) is handing the reins of his late-night show to Seth Meyers. Fallon will be moving up an hour as Jay Leno's replacement on the Tonight show.

NEW YORK -- Seth Meyers is moving from his Weekend Update desk to his own late-night show on NBC.

The network said Sunday the 12-year Saturday Night Live cast member will replace Jimmy Fallon at the 12:35 a.m. Late Night show next year. Fallon is moving up an hour as Jay Leno's replacement on the Tonight show.

Meyers was considered the lead candidate for the Late Night job ever since Fallon's promotion was announced. The announcement solidifies Lorne Michaels as the comedy kingmaker at NBC. He'll be the executive in charge of Late Night, Tonight and Saturday Night Live, which will all originate from New York's Rockefeller Center.

Meyers, 39, has been the head writer at Saturday Night Live for eight seasons. He's in his seventh year as Weekend Update host, to which he devotes all of his on-air time now.

And like Fallon before him, Meyers is making the move from Weekend Update to Late Night.

"We think Seth is one of the brightest, most insightful comedy writers and performers of his generation," said Bob Greenblatt, NBC entertainment chairman. His topical comedy is "perfect for the Late Night franchise," he said.

The late-night show began with David Letterman in 1982, and its other hosts have been Conan O'Brien and Fallon.

Meyers is a Northwestern University graduate and began his comedy career in Chicago. His chief television competition will be Craig Ferguson on CBS and Nightline on ABC. Like television in general, the late-night audience has dispersed in several directions, with DVR viewing of shows taped earlier a big alternative at night.

Late-night comedy is one of the NBC's few strong suits, with Saturday Night Live often drawing a bigger audience than most of what the network airs in prime-time. With Meyers' appointment, NBC is hoping for a smooth transition to a younger generation.

"I only have to work for Lorne for five more years before I pay him back for the time I totalled his car," Meyers quipped. "12:30 on NBC has long been incredible real estate. I hope I can do it justice."

Behind the scenes, Michael Shoemaker will remain with Late Night as producer, NBC said.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 13, 2013 D2

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