The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

If you tuned into Jimmy Fallon‘s debut as host of NBC’s The Tonight Show last night, you caught Spike Lee‘s latest project without even realizing it. The filmmaker directed the opening title sequence, which means, as Fallon happily put it, that “our show opens with a Spike Lee joint.”

The choice of Lee couldn’t be more appropriate as Fallon’s premiere also marked the return of The Tonight Show to New York City after four decades in Los Angeles. Watch the sequence after the jump.

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Joking Bad

As criminal masterminds go, a late night host with six months left (on the show, that is, not in life) selling his jokes on the black market doesn’t sound all that evil. But then again, we once sympathized with a terminally ill chemistry teacher making meth to provide for his family, too. Nowadays, that guy is a total monster.

True, joke-selling is somewhat less likely to result in slit throats, explosions, and poisoned people, but as Jimmy Fallon‘s Breaking Bad parody Joking Bad shows, it does come with some terrifying consequences of its own. Watch the video after the jump. Do be warned that some spoilers follow, if you’re not caught up through the first half of Season 5.

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Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon

Briefly: We don’t cover much late-night TV, but The Tonight Show is an institution and a changing of the guard at the show is a big deal. Negotiations have been taking place for quite some time to end Jay Leno‘s run as host of the show, with Jimmy Fallon taking his place.

Now we know that Leno’s last night as host will be February 6 2014 — that’s the night before NBC begins coverage of the Winter Olympics. Fallon’s debut as Tonight Show host will broadcast after that Olympic coverage ends. Since the last day of the Olympics is February 23, we’ll likely see Fallon as host by the end of that month. And so end’s Leno’s tenure as perhaps the friendliest, safest voice in late-night TV. He’s also one of the most popular, as Variety notes, holding the top ratings position in his time slot for the second quarter in 2013. That makes the changeover — the second time Leno has lost the chair, after a weird and short-lived swap with Conan O’Brien in 2009 — a bit unusual.

Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon

Here we go again. NBC has officially announced that Jimmy Fallon will replace Jay Leno as the host of The Tonight Show, as has been rumored for months. The only surprise, if you can even call it that, is when the changeover will take place — spring 2014, instead of summer or fall 2014 as previously believed. The transition will also mark The Tonight Show‘s move back to New York City, forty years after Johnny Carson took it to Burbank, California.

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Cougar Town

It’s gonna be a great spring for TV lovers, with the returns of Game of Thrones and Mad Men just around the corner and Louis CK‘s new standup special waiting in the wings. Watch trailers for all three after the jump. Also:

  • Damian Lewis talks Carrie and Brody’s future
  • Look for cameos and references in Hannibal
  • Seth Green also joins Seth MacFarlane‘s pilot
  • Will Seth Meyers replace Jimmy Fallon?
  • Cougar Town gets renewed for a fifth season
  • TNT sets a return date for Falling Skies
  • Mattel is working on UNO: The Game Show
  • Bryan Cranston‘s Breaking Bad script gets stolen
  • See new images from Eli Roth‘s Hemlock Grove
  • Watch the first 14 minutes of TNT’s Defiance

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Enlightened

Let’s just dive right in. After the jump:

  • Enlightened gets canned, CSI gets renewed
  • A Once Upon a Time spinoff is in the works
  • Fox is developing an O.J. Simpson series
  • Is Jimmy Fallon replacing Jay Leno?
  • Adam Green‘s Holliston sets a return date
  • American Horror Story gets a subtitle
  • Sam Raimi will direct the Fox pilot Rake
  • Adam Scott could’ve been Jim Halpert
  • David Brent returns in The Office Revisited
  • Game of Thrones gets a new promo and a GRRM cameo
  • Hemlock Grove and Hannibal get twisted new trailers
  • HBO reveals a teaser for Phillip Noyce‘s Mary and Martha

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

It’s been a few days since our last TV Bits (sorry!), so we have a ton of stuff to catch up on. After the jump:

  • Alexis Bledel, Kyle McLachlan, Hope Davis, and more get pilots
  • Downton Abbey loses one character but gains six more
  • Jeffrey Wright will be a series regular on Boardwalk Empire
  • A bunch of Fox shows including The Following get early renewals
  • The Zero Hour has gets cancelled by ABC after just three episodes
  • Will Jimmy Fallon take over for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show?
  • The X-Files finally gets a tenth season… as a comic book
  • Steven Soderbergh‘s Behind the Candelabra gets EW cover
  • Hannibal and Mad Men offer up not very revealing teasers
  • See character posters and an extended trailer for Game of Thrones
  • Peek behind the scenes of Breaking Bad‘s final season

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Casting, spoilers and some first looks abound  in this edition of TV Bits. After the jump check out the following:

  • Is Jimmy Fallon the lead contender to replace Jay Leno on The Tonight Show?
  • Some potential spoilers for Homeland season 3 have been teased.
  • Star of The OC Adam Brody joins the cast of House of Lies.
  • History is developing a Hatfields and McCoys reality show.
  • When do your favorite Fox shows like Glee, The Mindy Project and New Girl return?
  • NBC orders new episodes of Whitney.
  • The classic tale of Zorro is getting a modern reimagining on USA called Z.
  • The stars of Dexter tease some possibly season 8 scenarios.
  • A first look at the second season stars of Smash.
  • Bernard from Lost, Sam Anderson, joins the next season of Justified.

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Today’s TV Bits centers mostly around renewals, pickups, and projects in development, though there’s an interesting holiday-appropriate video in here for you as well. After the jump:

  • Showtime renews Homeland for a third season
  • CBS’ Elementary and Vegas get full-season orders
  • CW wants more Arrow, Beauty & the Beast, and Emily Owens
  • Jimmy Fallon’s Guys With Kids gets five more scripts
  • Big Bang Theory writer is developing Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • Fox’s New Girl and Raising Hope get two more episodes
  • ABC commits to bar-set Mixology, from Hangover scribes
  • Jane Fonda books a starring sitcom gig on ABC’s Now What?
  • Boardwalk Empire writer sells Jane Austen and West Memphis Three dramas
  • Fox is working on non-superpowered superhero comedy The B Team
  • Jennifer Garner returns to TV as an executive producer
  • Watch a new clip from NBC’s Mockingbird Lane

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