It's Official: Seth Meyers Lands NBC 'Late Night' Gig
UPDATED: The “Saturday Night Veteran” will move into Jimmy Fallon’s slot at NBC when the current “Late Night” host takes over “The Tonight Show.”
Seth Meyers is heading to late night.
After weeks of tightly guarded negotiations, the Saturday Night Live veteran has inked a deal to succeed Jimmy Fallon in NBC’s 12:35 a.m. Late Night slot. The announcement comes a day before NBC brass is set to present its new fall wares to Madison Avenue buyers. Lorne Michaels will executive produce both shows, with Michael Shoemaker remaining with the Late Night franchise as producer.
Having a solid late-night plan in place was of critical importance to NBCUniversal executives heading into the annual upfront bazaar. Weeks earlier, the network confirmed a THR report that Jay Leno would be replaced by Late Night host Fallon following the winter Olympics in February 2014. Meyers will remain with SNL through the fall season. Both Tonight and Late Night will be filmed in New York, giving Los Angeles-based ABC rival Jimmy Kimmel Live an added advantage from a booking standpoint.
"We think Seth is one of the brightest, most insightful comedy writers and performers of his generation. His years at SNL's Weekend Update desk, not to mention being head writer of the show for many seasons, helped him hone a topical brand of comedy that is perfect for the Late Night franchise," said entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt in a statement announcing the news Sunday. Meyers, 39, has been with SNL for 12 years, and has served as head writer for eight. "On behalf of Steve Burke, Ted Harbert and Paul Telegdy, we couldn't be happier that Seth and Jimmy Fallon will be continuing their careers at NBC after growing up in this network's late-night legacy."
Added Meyers of the new gig: "I only have to work for Lorne for five more years before I pay him back for the time I totaled his car. 12:30 on NBC has long been incredible real estate. I hope I can do it justice."
For the time being, NBC is staying mum on a premiere date as well as a format for Late Night With Seth Meyers. There has been speculation that Meyers could adopt one closer in form to Weekend Update, making the show more focused on newsmakers, politicians and athletes as opposed to simply celebrities. The latter could be seen as a way to spice up a staid formula as well as differentiate one former young, white SNL comedian's show from the other. Meyers has garnered praise for his work hosting the ESPY Awards (in 2010 and 2011) as well as the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner. What is clear: The show will remain a production of Universal Television in association with Michaels' Broadway Video.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose