8:45am PT by Kate Stanhope
'Tonight Show' Showrunner Josh Lieb Exits for Overall Deal With Universal Television
There's a change at The Tonight Show.
Showrunner Josh Lieb is exiting Jimmy Fallon's late-night series for an overall deal at Universal Television, where he will return to writing.
Lieb came on board as showrunner in October 2013, several months ahead of The Tonight Show's launch in February 2014. Lieb played an instrumental role in the show's success over the past three seasons. The Tonight Show has continued to beat the competition across the key demos since its launch.
Subsequently, The Tonight Show is expanding the roles of three producers to fill the void left by Lieb. Katie Hockmeyer will assume oversight of production, and Gerard Bradford and Mike DiCenzo will take on oversight of 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. We are excited to have a great trio to fill his shoes," Fallon said Monday in a statement. "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.”
Before leaving writing to join The Tonight Show as producer, Lieb won seven Emmy awards as a writer on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. He also wrote for The Simpsons and NewsRadio, in addition to writing two books, the New York Times best-seller I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President, and his recent YA novel, Ratscalibur. Lieb is repped by WME.
"This is obviously bittersweet — there's no show in the world more fun than The Tonight Show. I've been able to run the circus every night," said Lieb. "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."
News of Lieb's departure comes a week after the exit of producer Gavin Purcell, who is moving to Vox Digital to oversee video at the digital publisher.