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article imageNew book reveals Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show drama with Jay Leno

By Michael Essany     Apr 3, 2013 in Entertainment
On Wednesday, hours before NBC officially announced Jay Leno's departure from The Tonight Show, a controversial new book was released that explores the ongoing tension behind the scenes at NBC.
This captivating new work foreshadows "the next late night nightmare" that viewers may be subjected to before the spring 2014 transition from Leno to Fallon.
As it turns out, reads a statement this morning from Entertainment Legends E-Press, Jay Leno doesn't want to leave... again.
For decades, some of the most talked about feuds in show business have resulted from the lengthy star-studded list of notable entertainers vying for the most famous desk job in all of television.
Now, perhaps the greatest saga of them all has begun... and it looks surprisingly familiar to a late night debacle viewers beheld in 2010, as Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno battled to retain control of The Tonight Show.
"Jimmy Fallon: Inside His Fight for Late Night at NBC" is available now as an exclusive eBook for $2.99 from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
"Although NBC wants late night fans to believe that Fallon is firmly in place to succeed Leno and ensure a promising future for late night television programming at NBC," says author and entertainment industry veteran Sam Nichols, "both history and the latest facts in this debacle-in-the-making suggest that all hell could soon break loose in late night... again. And it may very well be worse than last time."
Nichols says his new work is derived from trusted sources across the industry and, in particular, at NBC. Among the more startling revelations in the new book: Fallon reportedly asked for and was granted an "escape clause" in his new deal.
In short, Jimmy Fallon retains the right to remain at "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" if he doesn't want to assume hosting duties of The Tonight Show in 2014.
"The deal is unprecedented," a source admits. "Jimmy will be with NBC well past 2015, which is when his last contract was set to expire. What's incredible is that NBC has reportedly never given so much leverage to its talent. Whether or not we see Jimmy Fallon as host of The Tonight Show next year... is basically up to Jimmy Fallon."
Regardless of NBC’s hopes, Jay Leno may still have a difficult time "going away," adds the source. In fact, rumors abound that Leno has been growing bitter and contentious behind the scenes of The Tonight Show. Feeling pressure to retire once again before he's ready, Leno is believed to be doing to NBC what Conan O'Brien had done in 2004 - he's letting NBC know that he has opportunities elsewhere.
In what could truly prove to be a remarkable turn of events in late night, sources at CBS indicate that David Letterman may retire at the end of his current contract at CBS. And that could open a door for Leno.
Perhaps the best kept secret in late night is that Jay Leno has a fantastic relationship with CBS. Dating back to the early 1990s when CBS executives Rod Perth and Howard Stringer attempted to pry Leno away from NBC, Leno has remained cordial in his unofficial dealings with the network, largely through friends and associates employed there. Although Jay Leno and David Letterman have remained rivals for more than two decades, it isn't out of the question that Jay Leno could replace David Letterman at the end of the Indianapolis native's contract.
"In the end," says Nichols, "this charade means nothing - just as it meant nothing in 2009 when O'Brien succeeded Leno. In the final analysis, the network has an embarrassing history of making mistakes with their late night talent, and the performers and executives involved are far too self-involved, vitriolic, and insecure to make the potential transition from Leno to Fallon a smooth one."
More about Jimmy fallon, Jay leno, Tonight show, Conan O'Brien, Nbc
 
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