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Howard Stern Could Replace Jimmy Fallon On 'Late Night' If Leno Exits

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HOWARD STERN
AP

The New York Post reports that NBC is considering installing Howard Stern in Jimmy Fallon's 12:35 time slot, if Fallon replaces Jay Leno as the host of "The Tonight Show" in 2014 as has been rumored.

NBC said the rumor that they are replacing Leno next year is "categorically untrue."

According to "a source who knows him well," Stern is being "groomed" to take over the "Late Night" spot. His surprise tapping as a judge on "America's Got Talent" on NBC has proven that the controversial broadcaster could be palatable for audiences beyond his radio show, and the Post's sources say that network execs are interested in trying the veteran radio host in late night.

Says Beth Ostrosky Stern, his wife:

"We were in a hotel and all these little kids recognize him now as the judge from 'America’s Got Talent.' Usually it’s their dads. But now it is screaming little kids. People are now seeing him for who he really is."

Of course, sources close to Stern should be taken with a grain of salt. Throughout his long career, Stern and his cohorts have made public pranks a key part of his freewheeling persona. As an outspoken critic of Jay Leno, Stern may take joy in being a part of the late night rumormill that could embarrass the longtime "Tonight Show" host.

Additionally, Fallon's move to 11:30 would be largely the result of competing with the younger Jimmy Kimmel, who recently moved to 11:35 on ABC. It seems unlikely the NBC would take the risk of having Stern, 59, follow Fallon.

On the other hand, an older audience at 12:35 is not unprecedented. Tom Snyder was also 59 years old and best known as a news anchor and commentator when he was the original host of "The Late Late Show," which was originally a serious chat program, in 1995.

NBC has fallen to an unprecedented fifth place, but with their late night comedy programming regularly beating the competition, any move could prove troublesome.

For more click over to The New York Post.

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