NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Late Night" talk show host Jimmy Fallon has signed a deal with NBC-TV that will keep him at the network, clearing the way for him to succeed Jay Leno as host of the ever-popular "Tonight Show," according to media reports.
Leno's contract is up in September of next year, and it was not clear when Fallon might assume hosting the "Tonight Show," the genre-setting program that first aired in 1954.
Citing executives with knowledge of the deal, the New York Times said late on Tuesday that the most likely time for Fallon to take over would be either in February when NBC airs its Olympics coverage or in September after Leno's contract expires.
The Hollywood Reporter also said a "well-placed source" had confirmed that Fallon had closed a deal paving the way for his takeover of the "Tonight Show."
NBC could not be reached for comment on the reports.
(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Patricia Reaney and Philip Barbara)