According to several in attendance at the annual Television Critics Association 2013 winter press tour on Sunday, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has confirmed that Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" contract has been extended beyond its original expiration date of 2014.
TV critic Jim Halterman first tweeted:
Leno's contract just extended. No real talks about any succession plan when he does step down. They also love Carson Daly's show. #tca13— Jim Halterman (@JimHalterman) January 6, 2013
The news comes after a report last month that NBC was quietly exploring the option of installing "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon as the host of "Tonight" when the 62-year-old Leno sees his contract expire.
Greenblatt denies that this is the case:
Greenblatt insists there have not been talks with Jimmy Fallon to succeed Jay Leno. "Those conversations are premature." #TCA13— TVGuideMagazine (@TVGuideMagazine) January 6, 2013
He also insisted that despite ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" moving to 11:35 starting this week, NBC is not worried about Leno's ratings in the time slot:
"Jay has proven surprisingly resilient," says NBC guy, who knows from having to fight off the Leno drones. #tca13— Todd VanDerWerff (@tvoti) January 6, 2013
Leno has been hosting "The Tonight Show" since 1992, except for a brief period in 2009-10 when Conan O'Brien hosted the program and Leno was given a low-rated prime time talk show. NBC's decision to reinstall Leno in favor of O'Brien was widely seen as a PR disaster.
Also on HuffPost:
First Episode Of "Late Night with David Letterman"
The first five minutes of the 1982 debut of "Late Night with David Letterman" on NBC.
Bill Murray's First Appearance
Bill Murray was the very first guest on "Late Night," and will appear on Letterman's 30th anniversary episode on Wednesday.
Andy Kaufman and Jerry Lawler Wrestle
One of the most famous stunts in television history involved comedian Andy Kaufman cursing out and attacking professional wrestler Jerry Lawler in 1982. The episode was believed to be authentic until the release of the 1999 Kaufman biopic, "Man on the Moon."
Stupid Pet Tricks
One of Letterman's signature bits is the self-explanatory "Stupid Pet Tricks."
Letterman & Grodin
Charles Grodin has appeared on Letterman's shows since early on, in which Grodin plays a curmudgeonly version of himself and endlessly mocks Dave.
Dave's Velcro Suit
Dave wore various unusual suits early on, like this suit made of Velco in 1984.
Dave Interrupts The Today Show
One of Dave's most famous stunts was this 1985 prank when he interrupted a broadcast of his NBC comrades "The Today Show" since they got a bigger newspaper ad than "Late Night."
Jay Leno and Letterman Were Pals
Ironically, David Letterman helped make Jay Leno famous when Leno was a frequent guest on "Late Night" in the '80s.
From 1986, in one of his memorable bits from "Late Night," Dave let the "Monkey Cam" run wild in the NBC studios.
Guy Under The Seats
Before his TV and film success, Chris Elliott became famous for playing a wide variety of characters on "Late Night," such as the Guy Under the Seats and a deranged version of Marlon Brando.
Letterman's Last Appearance On Carson
Carson invites Letterman on his show after Dave had been passed over for the "Tonight Show" job. Carson asked the young host, "So, how pissed <i>are</i> you?"
First Episode Of 'Late Show'
After the brouhaha of the great Carson/Leno/Letterman "Tonight" showdown of 1993, Letterman jettisoned NBC for CBS to directly compete with Leno's show. Here's the opening of his rechristened "Late Show."
Madonna Curses Out Dave
In this 1994 interview, Madonna said quite a few words that cannot be said on TV, accusing Dave of paying too much attention to her sex life in his monologues.
Drew Barrymore Flashes Dave
Drew Barrymore memorably danced on Dave's desk on his birthday in 1995.
Letterman Visits Conan
Letterman did the new "Late Night" host Conan O'Brien a solid by appearing on his show a few times early on.
Dave Running Taco Bell Drive-Thru
Dave popularized the now-commonplace "messing with customers" remote pieces when he manned the drive-thru at fast food restaurants like Taco Bell and McDonald's.
Letterman Returns From Heart Surgery
In 2000, Letterman took over a month of from his show after receiving emergency quintuple bypass surgery on his heart. During that time, he employed "guest hosts" like Bill Cosby and Janeane Garofalo to anchor the show. Upon returning, he emotionally thanked the doctors who saved his life on the air.
The Late Show Returns After 9/11
David Letterman was the first New York City based comedy show to return after the 2001 terrorist attacks, and eloquently voiced the feelings of many Americans on September 19.
Letterman's Carson Tribute
The day after Letterman's hero Johnny Carson died, Letterman revealed that Carson had been quietly sending him monologue jokes every now and again since his retirement. His monologue on that show was entirely composed of jokes written by Carson.
Hostile Bill O'Reilly Interview
Taking on a rare serious tone in this 2006 interview, Letterman defended Cindy Sheehan to Bill O'Reilly, and famously told him that "60% of what you say in crap."
Dave Embarrasses Paris Hilton
In 2007, Dave leads a hilariously uncomfortable interview where he makes Paris Hilton squirm by asking her about her jail time.
Dave Returns From The Writers Strike
"The Late Show" was the first show to come back on the air during the 2007 writers strike. The decision was not without controversy -- the show entered a separate deal with the WGA to negotiate their writers' return, while the other comedy shows returned, writerless. Regardless, Dave grew a beard in solidarity.
Oprah and Dave Bury the Hatchet
The fabled "Letterman/Oprah" feud came to an end when Winfrey appeared on a much-hyped episode of "The Late Show."
Letterman Announces Affairs & Extortion Case
Letterman shocked audiences in 2009 when he revealed that he was the subject of an extortion plot due to sexual affairs he conducted with multiple women on his staff.
Dave Interviews The President
In 2009, Dave interviewed his first sitting U.S. President.
Dave Responds To NBC Tonight Show Drama
If there's one subject David Letterman is familiar with, it's Jay Leno stealing "The Tonight Show" from another host. So when history repeated itself when NBC decided to reinstate Leno as the "Tonight Show" host after seven months of perceived underperformance by Conan O'Brien, Letterman simply had to weigh in. And the results were the funniest Dave had been in years.
Dave Is Threatened By Real-Life Terrorists
In 2011, Dave responded to a terrorist threat that had been made against him. He told those in the studio, "Tonight, you're more than an audience. You're more like a human shield."