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Jimmy Fallon is currently at the top of his game on The Tonight Show. We know this because he is well-liked and crushing in the ratings. We also know this because NBC has major confidence in its late night host, so much so that the former SNL funnyman has signed on as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon host through 2021. The announcement was made this morning on social media platforms and through a carefully timed press release from the network.
NBC’s announcement indicates that Fallon has been a part of the NBC team for 17 years now, counting his run on Saturday Night Live, and the ratings he has been able to bring in while hosting The Tonight Show have been pretty big. He’s averaging a 1.1 rating, which would be terrible in primetime but is good for late night, as well as 3.8 million total viewers. The network is also noting that Fallon’s show does a “+79% margin of victory in adults 18-49.” Take that, ABC and CBS.
Fallon’s popularity lies in the fact that he jumped on the viral bandwagon pretty early, finding ways to get celebrities more involved with late night via sketches, musical numbers and games. In some ways, his late night series has more classic variety elements than the other late night shows, which is neat. It also probably helps that Fallon genuinely comes off as a kind and caring dude that is still amazed at the turn his career has taken since he joined NBC as the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon host way back in 2009. (He hopped over to The Tonight Show in 2014.) Seriously, for the guy that headlined the forgettable movie Taxi, his run has been pretty good.
It’s interesting that NBC would sign on with Fallon all the way through 2021, however. That’s six more years of commitment to Fallon and a lot could change during that time. It’s a true testament to the confidence the network has in the late night host, compared to say the recently retired David Letterman, who has openly admitted that CBS limited his contracts later in his run, only extending them for one or two years rather than longer runs. As a late night host ages or becomes less popular, the writing on the wall becomes clearer, but that's not Fallon's lot, yet.
Luckily for fans of Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show, the vibrant, still youthful-seeming host will be bringing his positive energy to the desk for quite some time. You can catch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET, only on NBC.