“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” may soon have a new leader.
Jim Bell, who currently helms the network’s Olympics coverage, is in talks to lead the “Tonight Show,” multiple insiders told TheWrap.
Bell, who also previously ran “Today” as an executive producer, would take over as showrunner for the NBC late night franchise, which had been run by a trio of executives for the past two years. Bell has been president of NBC Olympics production & programming since 2017. Bell would still remain involved with the network’s Olympics coverage, which has the 2020 Summer Games from Tokyo up next.
NBC declined to comment.
On Monday, Mike DiCenzo, one of the trio of producers overseeing the show, announced his departure after a decade in late night television. DiCenzo’s departure had been long in the works. Following the departure of former showrunner Josh Lieb in 2016, DiCenzo ran the show’s creative team with Gerard Bradford, while Katie Hockmeyer had oversight of production.
Bradford and Hockmeyer will remain in their current roles.
If Bell were takes over, he wouldn’t be the only executive to make the jump from morning to late-night.
Over on CBS, “Late Show With Stephen Colbert” executive producer Chris Licht used to run his network’s morning show, “CBS This Morning.”
Though Bell has news chops from his “Today” tenure, Fallon’s “Tonight Show” will not add a more political slant to the show, a path which has led to success for Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel.