In the midst of the late-night talk show rumors swirling around the past few weeks, Jimmy Kimmel – who’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC is now going head-to-head with The Tonight Show on NBC – has opened up about the possibility of Jimmy Fallon taking over for Jay Leno and re-launching The Tonight Show in New York City.
“I don’t have a particular preference,” Kimmel tells Broadcasting & Cable about who he’d like to see replace Leno. “I think that my relationship with Jay Leno is well-known and I happen to like Jimmy Fallon a lot both personally and professionally so I would be very happy for him if and when he gets The Tonight Show.” But if you listen to rumors, you know there’s a chance that Leno will not just go away; it seems Fox is ready to offer him a syndication deal where Leno would host a new show that would air 30 minutes before Letterman, Kimmel and Fallon (if he takes over The Tonight Show).
Despite his public dislike for Leno, Kimmel knows all too well The Tonight Show host is still one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood. “I’m almost certain he’ll go out on top. He’s No. 1 right now and we never expected to be competitive with him so quickly,” Kimmel says. “The Tonight Show has been on since 1954 at 11:30. We’ve been on since January. I have no doubt that he’ll go out as No 1.”
Kimmel later adds, “I’d rather he go to his garage and not compete with anybody. He remains very popular and as far as I’m concerned the less competition the better.”