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It's Official: Jimmy Fallon taking over 'The Tonight Show' from Jay Leno

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It's Official: Jimmy Fallon taking over 'The Tonight Show' from Jay Leno

(Yahoo!) - After weeks of rumors and buzz, NBC finally made it official: Jimmy Fallon will graduate from hosting "Late Night" to "The Tonight Show" in 2014. He replaces longtime host Jay Leno, whose contract is up next spring.

"I'm really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow," Fallon said in the press release.

After 22 years, Leno leaves while his "Tonight Show" still tops late-night ratings.

"Jay Leno is an entertainment icon, making millions of people laugh every weeknight for more than 20 years," said Steve Burke, chief executive officer of NBCUniversal. "We are purposefully making this change when Jay is No. 1, just as Jay replaced Johnny Carson when he was No. 1."

While Leno is still king of late night, NBC hopes the younger Fallon can attract more viewers in the key, advertiser-friendly 18-49 demo.

In the release, Leno struck a friendly tone, in keeping with the vibe the two hosts gave off in their recent "Tonight" song duet.

"Congratulations, Jimmy. I hope you're as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you're the old guy," Leno said. "If you need me, I'll be at the garage."

READ MORE: Yahoo!

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