The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon producer-showrunner Josh Lieb is departing the NBC late-night program, segueing to writing with an overall deal at Universal Television.
There will not be a direct replacement for Lieb. Instead, the roles of three key staffers who had been with Fallon since the 2009 launch of his first NBC late-night show, are being expanded. Katie Hockmeyer will assume oversight of production, while writers Gerard Bradford and Mike DiCenzo, who have penned Slow Jam The News Featuring President Obama among other signature Tonight Show bits, will assume oversight of the show creative.
“Josh has been a tremendous asset and has played a key role in helping us successfully launch The Tonight Show. We will miss him and wish him all the best with this great new opportunity,” Fallon said. “We are excited to have a great trio to fill his shoes. Katie, Mike, and Gerard, who have been with me since Late Night, will be expanding their roles, and they and the rest of the team will help us continue to have fun and success.”
Lieb joined The Tonight Show exactly three years ago, shepherding its very successful launch a few months later. He presided over The Tonight Show as it has dominated the late-night landscape for the past three seasons as the ratings leader. This was the second consecutive late-night stint for Lieb, who won seven Emmy Awards as writer and producer of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. His primetime series credits include The Simpsons and NewsRadio. Lieb also is a novelist who has published I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil, I Want To Be Your Class President and, most recently, the YA title Ratscalibur.
“This is obviously bittersweet — there’s no show in the world more fun than The Tonight Show,” Lieb said. “I’ve been able to run the circus every night. But I’d like to write more, and try different things, and — frankly– spend a little more time with my kids. Jimmy’s a joy to work with, and the troika taking over for me is more than qualified. You won’t even notice I’m gone.”
Here is more information on the newly promoted Tonight Show producers:
Hockmeyer has worked at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Center for her entire career. After completing NBC’s venerable page program in 2002, she began working for Lorne Michaels’ office at “Saturday Night Live” where she first learned the craft of running late night programming. In 2005 she joined former NBC Universal CEO, Jeff Zucker, to run his office. Hockmeyer has been a core member of Jimmy Fallon’s production team since Jimmy first launched his late night franchise in 2009. She went from an Associate Producer of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to a Supervising Producer of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Now, as producer and co-show runner of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Hockmeyer will be responsible for all elements of production along with Gerard Bradford and Michael Dicenzo who will head the show’s creative effort.
Hockmeyer won a Producers Guild of America Award in 2015 for ‘Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment Talk Television’. She has also been nominated the last five consecutive years for a Prime Time Emmy Award in the ‘Outstanding Variety Series’ category.
Bradford has been a longtime writer for Fallon, having helped launch Late Night with Jimmy Fallon starting in 2008. He eventually became a Supervising Writer when Jimmy took over The Tonight Show in 2014. Along with fellow Supervising Writer Mike DiCenzo, he penned memorable bits like “Tight Pants” and “Slow Jam The News” featuring President Obama. He and DiCenzo also wrote and produced Fallon’s 2012 musical comedy album, “Blow Your Pants Off,” for which they won a Grammy. He was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy Award in the Outstanding Writing – Variety Series category in 2011 (Late Night) and 2014 (Tonight Show).
DiCenzo has been a Supervising Writer at The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and wrote for the entire run of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, starting in 2008. Before that, he wrote for the Onion for three years. For the Tonight Show, he has written and produced such bits as “Wheel of Musical Impressions,” the Classroom Instruments performances, Tight Pants, and the “Saved By The Bell” reunion sketch. Along with Bradford, he wrote the most recent “Slow Jam The News” featuring President Obama, and together they wrote and produced Fallon’s 2012 musical comedy album, “Blow Your Pants Off,” which won a Grammy.
Additionally, Bradford and DiCenzo were the writers for the upcoming Universal Studios attraction “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon,” which opens in Orlando in spring 2017.