EXCLUSIVE: Jay Leno-hosted Tonight Show will air its last episode on February 6, and, per terms of his show exit deal with NBC, the cast and crew will be paid until his contract expires in September. Tonight EP Debbie Vickers made the announcement today to staffers at the show, informed sources report. It’s unclear how many crew and staff were at the meeting on the show’s Burbank lot. At one point it was reported Tonight had about 170 total staffers, including some contract workers. NBC declined comment on today’s news.
The announcement isn’t a total surprise. At NBC’s Upfront presentation to advertisers in May, the network officially announced that Jay Leno would end his 22-year run on Tonight Show during the week leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics — which start February 7. NBC also announced Jimmy Fallon would replace him on Monday, February 24, the night after the closing ceremony, followed by the debut of Late Night With Seth Meyers at 12:30 AM. Fallon’s Tonight Show will be broadcast from New York City; Lorne Michaels is exec producing, and Fallon’s Late Night writer Amy Ozols has been named producer. (more…)