Susan Rovner, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming chairman, confirmed the renewal during NBCUniversal’s upfront presentation Monday. Rovner noted it matter-of-factly her opening conversation with “Today” anchor Hoda Kotb.
Rovner didn’t elaborate on the Fallon renewal. She emphasized that NBCUniversal is working fast to generate content for its linear and streaming platforms. The company went through a massive restructuring of its TV operations last fall when Rovner signed on to lead content operations after more than 20 years as a top creative executive at Warner Bros. TV.
Rovner noted that NBCU’s new centralized TV content group has ordered 80 new series and special events.
It’s understood that the “Tonight Show” renewal was completed some time ago. Although “Tonight Show” has fallen behind CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in total viewership, the late-night mainstay is has been such a part of the fabric of NBC that it’s renewal was not in doubt nor is Fallon’s hold on the host chair seen in as in jeopardy.
The long-term renewal was struck around the time that “Tonight Show” saw a shuffle of showrunners last Novmeber, when longtime staffer Jamie Granet-Bederman took the baton from Gavin Purcell. Granet-Bederman’s selection was a sign that Fallon and “Tonight” were opting to stay the course after meeting with challenges when outside producers have been brought in to lead efforts. NBC previously assigned news and sports veteran Jim Bell to help steer the show in 2018 the wake of “Tonight” slipping behind CBS’ “Late Show.”