Jay Leno to Depart The Tonight Show in February

Jay Leno Tonight Show End DateJay Leno will end his 22-year stint on The Tonight Show just prior to the winter Olympics’ opening ceremonies in February, the staff of the late-night series reportedly learned Friday.

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Leno’s last night in the chair will be February 6, the evening before NBC begins its coverage of the games in Sochi.

The winter games end Feb. 23, and Leno’s successor Jimmy Fallon will likely debut The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon after that. (In turn, Saturday Night Live writer-performer Seth Meyers will fill Fallon’s vacated spot at Late Night.)

In accordance with Leno’s exit deal with the network, our sister site Deadline reports, the Tonight Show cast and crew will be paid until the comedian’s contract ends in September.

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NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt recently told reporters he hopes Leno will “still be a presence” on the network after February.

“We’ve been having conversations with Jay. We have various ideas,” he told reporters at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour. “Nothing would make us happier, a la Bob Hope, to have him be part of the network.”