'SNL' vet joins Fallon's 'Late Night'

Producer Mike Shoemaker will lead show's next iteration

When Jimmy Fallon takes over "Late Night," a familiar face will run the show.

Emmy-winning "Saturday Night Live" producer Mike Shoemaker has been tapped to lead Fallon's edition of the late-night talk show. Shoemaker has been with "SNL" since 1986 and worked with Fallon during the comedian's eight-year tenure on the show.

"Mike is the perfect producer for 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,' " said Rick Ludwin, executive vp late-night and primetime series at NBC Entertainment. "His long experience at 'Saturday Night Live,' his ability to nurture talent, great working relationship with Jimmy and familiarity with the best comedy talent in the business are all invaluable."

Said Fallon: "I feel lucky to have Mike on my team. I've always admired his work ethic and his great relationship with writers and the whole creative process."

Shoemaker will transition from his duties on "SNL" to working with Fallon in the fall. First up is Fallon's online series, which Shoemaker said will upload at 12:30 a.m. each night to help habituate viewers to watching Fallon's show late at night. Each episode likely will run about four to five minutes.

Although a brief monologue and trying out a comedy bit is a likely format for the online version, Shoemaker noted that the benefit of a Web series is that there are no firm rules, so the team can try just about anything for the show. From there, Shoemaker and Fallon will try to find running bits to incorporate into the broadcast version, which is expected to launch early next year. Shoemaker said it's still too early to give any details about a format for "Late Night."

"There will be furniture," he said.

The development of Fallon's show has been relatively under the media radar because of the dramatic fireworks over NBC's 11:30 "Tonight Show" slot, where longtime host Jay Leno is exiting to make room for the ascension of current "Late Night" host Conan O'Brien.

"Under the radar is a great place to be," Shoemaker said. "12:30 is perfect; 11:30 is scary. We're very happy to be just on the edge of all the excitement."
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