9:18am PT by Rick Porter
'Tonight Show' Producer Mike DiCenzo Exiting, Jim Bell in Talks to Join as Showrunner
Tonight Show producer Mike DiCenzo, who has been with Jimmy Fallon since the host's Late Night days, is leaving the late-night game.
DiCenzo's last show as producer will air Monday, 10 years to the day since he began working on NBC's Late Night.
"Leaving this show, this staff, this crew, and Jimmy — it's one of the toughest decisions I've ever made, and one I've been grappling with this year," DiCenzo wrote as part of a Twitter thread about his departure. "Ultimately, I just felt it was time. And thankfully, Jimmy couldn't have been more supportive or understanding."
Former Today Show executive producer Jim Bell, currently president production and programming at NBC Olympics, is in discussions to join The Tonight Show as executive producer and showrunner, sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
Along with Gerard Bradford and Katie Hockmeyer, DiCenzo was one of three producers to take over running The Tonight Show after showrunner Josh Lieb left in 2016. DiCenzo and Bradford oversee the creative efforts on the show, and Hockmeyer is in charge of production.
Bradford and Hockmeyer will remain in their roles.
DiCenzo, a veteran of The Onion, went to work for Fallon in 2008 as the former Saturday Night Live star was preparing to take over Late Night. He moved with Fallon to The Tonight Show in 2014, where he wrote and produced recurring bits like "Wheel of Musical Impressions," "Classroom Instruments" and more. He also put together the Saved by the Bell reunion sketch for Tonight.
Over the past couple of years, The Tonight Show has lost the ratings dominance it once enjoyed. Over the first three weeks of the season, it has tied with CBS' Late Show With Stephen Colbert among adults 18-49 — both shows average a 0.5 rating — but trails Late Show by a good margin in viewers (3.48 million to 2.31 million for Tonight).
The Tonight Show led the 2017-18 season by a few hundredths of a point in the demo, down from a .23-point margin for 2016-17.
Deadline was first to report Bell's potential involvement at Tonight.