NBC confirmed on Sunday that Saturday Night Live cast member and head writer Seth Meyers will replace former colleague Jimmy Fallon as host of the talk show Late Night starting in 2014.
According to the Associated Press, Meyers, currently featured on SNL as host of the "Weekend Update" segment, was considered a leading candidate for the spot after the network's announcement that Fallon would replace Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show, a move that will coincide with Tonight's own relocation to New York City. All three shows will be helmed by SNL creator Lorne Michaels.
"I only have to work for Lorne for five more years before I pay him back for the time I totaled his car," said Meyers. "12:30 on NBC has long been incredible real estate. I hope I can do it justice."
However, even before Meyers was confirmed for his new job, the prospect of the move sparked some criticism against NBC, both for perpetuating a lack of diversity among the late-night hosting ranks and straying from the more experimental comedy style introduced by Late Night's original host, David Letterman.
"When NBC handed the show off to Conan O'Brien, that too was an experiment, taking a chance on a young Simpsons writer with almost no experience as a public performer," James Poniewozik wrote in an online column for Time magazine on Sunday. "Now it's been hosted by one guy who made his bones on the 'Weekend Update' desk, and it will be taken over by another guy who made his bones on the 'Weekend Update' desk. The show Late Night is an institution now. It seems to be becoming another rung on the entertainment-corporate ladder, SNL to 12:35 weekdays to The Big Chair to retirement."
[Image by Tara Giancaspro via Flickr Creative Commons]