NBCUniversal’s most well-known comedian isn’t going anywhere. The company announced that it had renewed “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” for five years during its upfront presentation on Monday, as well as adding a slew of projects from his Electric Hot Dog production company.
Though Fallon had been anticipated to continue working at NBCUniversal, the company renewed his show for a longer-than-expected period. “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” was once the ratings leader of late night but began to slip as competing shows began to place greater emphasis on political jokes and commentary during and after the 2016 presidential election. Regardless, Fallon is still one of most well-known faces of NBCUniversal and continues to be a ratings driver for the company.
“The Tonight Show” isn’t the only project keeping Fallon busy at NBCUniversal; he is also creating a musical competition series for E! titled “Clash of the Cover Bands,” as well as several animated titles. For example, Fallon’s “5 More Sleeps ’til Christmas” animated holiday special, which is based on his own holiday children’s book, is slated to air on NBC on Christmas. The comedian is also developing an animated series with DreamWorks Animation for preschoolers based on his other kids’ books “Your Baby’s First Word Will be Dada” and “Everything Is Mama,” as well as previously announced projects “That’s My Jam” and “The Kids Tonight Show,” according to Deadline.
“We continue to be in awe of all things Jimmy,” Susan Rovner, chairman, entertainment Content, NBCUniversal television and streaming, said in a May 13 statement obtained by Deadline. “Who else could run ‘The Tonight Show,’ executive produce and host brand new formats, and adapt his own bestselling books? Jimmy does them all with his signature style. We are privileged to call him a longtime member of our broadcast family.”
NBCUniversal has placed an emphasis on late night comedy in the last year as the company continues its pivot towards streaming. Although NBCUniversal has not announced any Fallon projects that will exclusively stream on Peacock, the company touted the ability for subscribers to view the late night shows anchored by Fallon and Seth Meyers several hours ahead of their broadcast date as one of Peacock’s key perks.