Jay Leno Monologue

Suddenly, NBC’s The Tonight Show is once again must-see TV.

With a report in the New York Times today confirming the network has promised Jimmy Fallon that he will succeed Jay Leno as the next host of the iconic late-night program, fans of talk-show intrigue will doubtless tune in to see if Leno has a reaction tonight.

Though we’re told the host did not directly address the Fallon news in Wednesday’s taping, he did once again take a shot at NBC’s low ratings. “According to several reports, scientists say they are getting closer and closer to being able to do Jurassic Park-style cloning of extinct species,” Leno told his audience. “Imagine that. Things that were once thought to be extinct could be brought back from the dead. So there’s hope for NBC. It could turn around.”

On Monday, he compared his NBC bosses to “snakes.” While on Tuesday night, he took a swipe at the ratings. Guests tonight include Vanessa Hudgens and Chris O’Dowd with musical guest Gary Clark Jr.

NBC plans to move The Tonight Show from Burbank, Calif. to New York, where Fallon currently tapes his Late Night show. There is also talk of Tonight returning to a 90-minute format. It’s unclear when an official announcement will take place (NBC “categorically” denied an initial report about the decision). For now, NBC is only confirming that it is building a brand new set for Fallon.