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‘Tonight Show’ Taps Colin Elzie as Head Writer

He replaced Rebecca Drysdale after she left in November

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” has found its new head writer in Colin Elzie.

Elzie has been a writer on the show since 2016. He has been in the head writer role since the end of last year, after Rebecca Drysdale left in November.

Deadline first reported the news of Elize.

“The Tonight Show” underwent several staffing changes behind the camera in the last year. Most notably, Gavin Purcell exited as showrunner, a role he only planned to hold temporarily, and was replaced by Jamie Granet-Bederman. “The Tonight Show” is produced by Universal Television and Broadway Video with Lorne Michaels as exec producer.

The show is coming off some of its worst ratings in Fallon’s tenure of hosting the show, which has plummeted during the Trump years. On Monday, Jan. 11, it drew the fourth-smallest audience ever for an original episode of the show, according to Nielsen’s final ratings. The show averaged 1.063 million total viewers from 11:35 p.m. to 12:35 a.m. PT.

All three of the late-night franchise’s smaller TV audiences came last year. On Aug. 18, 2020, Fallon had 1.004 million total viewers. On Aug. 20, he got 1.061 million. The all-time low came on Sept. 25, when “The Tonight Show” fell below 1 million viewers for the first and only time ever in Nielsen’s final ratings, posting just 992,000 total viewers. The start to that particular episode was a bit delayed due to an NHL Stanley Cup Finals game.

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