Stern, currently a radio personality and judge on the NBC show “America’s Got Talent,” could take the spot currently occupied by the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member if NBC relieves "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno and replaces him with Fallon, according to the New York Post.
“Sources close to the radio man tell The Post that Stern, in turn, is being ‘groomed’ by NBC as the new Fallon,” the Post article read.
It’s not a sure thing that Fallon would replace Leno, either – the Hollywood Reporter stated that a source told them the network was planning to remove the longtime “Tonight Show” host in favor of Fallon, but so far, NBC is denying the story.
Nevertheless, the source told the Hollywood Reporter that NBC may believe it can handily beat ABC night host Jimmy Kimmel if Fallon’s show was going head-to-head with the program instead of the close battle that always ensues between Kimmel and Leno for ratings.
“Kimmel has done extremely well," the source said. "Jay wins overall, but on any given night, it's neck-and-neck in 18-49. I understand where they might have fear and also feel that they own the solution.”
Leno has hosted “The Tonight Show” since 1992 except for a brief break in 2009 when the comedian left to be the face of “The Jay Leno Show.” Leno and the new “Tonight Show” host Conan O’Brien became the center of controversy when it was reported that NBC wanted to move “The Jay Leno Show” to the timeslot formerly occupied by “The Tonight Show” and move “Tonight” to a midnight air time. O’Brien wrote a letter stating that he would leave the network if the move was enacted, and after he left, Leno became the host of “Tonight” again.
Stern is currently the host of his own program on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and is famous for his controversial broadcasts. His original program, “The Howard Stern Show,” was fined multiple times by the FCC for indecency.