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There’s a change at the top of The Tonight Show: Jamie Granet-Bederman, a longtime producer on the NBC late night staple, has been elevated to showrunner.
She takes over for Gavin Purcell, who is returning to an overall deal at Universal Television. Granet-Bederman is also bringing on former Tonight Show head writer Nedaa Sweiss as co-showrunner. The new collaboration also means that Jimmy Fallon is staying put in his coveted late-night gig. Sources confirm to THR that Fallon has also signed a contract extension to stay put past 2021. (At NBCUniversal’s upfront in May 2021, the company confirmed Fallon’s extension is for five years — keeping him on the air through 2026.)
Granet-Bederman has worked with Fallon for 11 years, dating back to his time on NBC’s Late Night, and moved with him to The Tonight Show when he took over as host in 2014. She previously headed the show’s talent department, helping book the show’s guests and musical acts.
Sweiss will come on board for a short time as co-showrunner to help Granet-Bederman shape the show’s creative direction. Sweiss has comedy projects in development at ABC and CBS and will depart the show early next year to focus on her other commitments.
The elevation of Granet-Bederman marks The Tonight Show‘s third showrunner change in the past two years. In October 2018, NBC News veteran Jim Bell took over as executive producer following the exit of Mike DiCenzo — one of three producers who shared showrunning duties after Josh Lieb departed in 2016.
Bell helmed the show for a year before leaving Tonight (and NBCUniversal) in November 2019. Purcell, who had previously worked with Fallon on both Late Night and Tonight, then came back on as showrunner. During his tenure he helped the show navigate the early days of the novel coronavirus pandemic, with Fallon among the first set of late night hosts to do at-home editions of their shows. He was also the first late night host to return to filming in studio in July.
Purcell’s overall deal at Universal TV was in place before he joined The Tonight Show last year. He’ll develop projects for all platforms under the deal.
The New York Times was first to report news of Fallon’s contract.
May 17, 2021, 9:20 a.m. Updated with the length of Jimmy Fallon’s contract extension.
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