NBC names Fallon as Leno’s successor
NBC on Wednesday announced its long-rumored switch in late night, replacing Jay Leno at the “Tonight” show with Jimmy Fallon and moving the iconic franchise back to New York.
Fallon will take over in about a year, the switch coinciding with NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Veteran “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels also will take over as executive producer of “Tonight.”
NBC made no announcement on who would replace Fallon at the 12:35 a.m. “Late Night” slot, although Seth Meyers of “Saturday Night Live” is considered a strong candidate.
The change at “Tonight,” the longest-running and most popular late-night talk show, had been widely reported but not confirmed by the network until Wednesday. NBC reportedly just wrapped up negotiations with Fallon on a contract extension.
Rolling Stones annouce new tour
In the better-late-than-never department, the Rolling Stones on Wednesday announced a 2013 tour, as close to a full-fledged 50th anniversary “50 and Counting” tour as “the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band” could muster, opening in May in Los Angeles.
Singer Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards, Ron Wood and former Stones member Mick Taylor, drummer Charlie Watts and their tour band mates will play a run of shows in the U.S. and England in May and June, including a second Southern California date May 15 at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Other cities on the itinerary include Oakland, San Jose, Las Vegas, Toronto, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia.
The first show on the tour, at Staples Center, is in flux pending the dates of NBA and NHL playoff games involving L.A. teams. The group also has two performances on tap back home in England.
Jagger and Richards will turn 70 this year, Watts is 71 and Wood is 65, prompting speculation that this could be the band’s final tour – a question raised numerous times before.
Meanwhile, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recently announced it will mount the first major Rolling Stones museum exhibit, a 50th anniversary look at the band’s legacy that’s slated to open May 24 at the Cleveland facility and run for at least 10 months.
The birthday bunch
Author-poet Maya Angelou is 85. Recording executive Clive Davis is 81. Bandleader Hugh Masekela is 74. Author Kitty Kelley is 71. Actor Craig T. Nelson is 69. Actress Christine Lahti is 63. Writer-producer David E. Kelley is 57. Actor David Cross is 49. Actor Robert Downey Jr. is 48. Actress Nancy McKeon is 47. Actor Barry Pepper is 43. Magician David Blaine is 40. Actress Amanda Righetti is 30.