Although Leno is the most-watched late-night show host, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel has been making in-roads with the coveted 18-49 demographic. NBC brass doesn’t want Kimmel — who had been in the midnight time slot until recently moving up half an hour — to be firmly established before it gets a chance to move Fallon into Leno’s chair.
They also don’t want to lose Fallon when his contract is up. He could conceivably move to another network or cable net and take them on during the “Tonight Show” slot.
But so what? There’s no ratings evidence Fallon can beat Leno.
It’s the same play they ran with Conan — fire Leno and give Conan the slot he demanded, to prevent Conan from taking the same slot at another network.
That didn’t work out so well for them last time; I don’t know why they think it will now. Kimmel might be making “in-roads” — but Leno still wins the time slot.
Who fires a proven ratings winner not once but twice?! Only NBC.
I liked Kimmel a lot more when he was teamed with Adam Carolla on The Man Show.