If Jimmy Fallon takes over as host of The Tonight Show from Jay Leno in 2014 in the marquee late night spot for Comcast-owned NBC, as has been widely speculated this week, does that mean The Roots will be the new Tonight Show band?
Probably. They may not change their name, but it's highly unlikely that Fallon would make the move from Studio 6B in 30 Rockefeller Center, where Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is currently produced (and where Johnny Carson made his home during his late '60s-early'70s Tonight Show years in New York) to the new state-of-the-art 30 Rock studio being built for him without bringing the Philadelphia band billed as The Legendary Roots Crew with him.
Why's that? Because NBC is interested in moving Fallon, 38, into an earlier time slot than his current 12:35 start time to attract younger viewers, and keep ABC's Jimmy Kimmel from gaining a stranglehold on a not-yet-graying demographic, now that the 45 year old Kimmel is in direct time slot competition with Leno, 62 and David Letterman , 65.
And how does Fallon score so well with younger viewers? Partly his show is Internet savvy, sure, and kind of because he looks like he could still get carded if he ordered a beer at the 30 Rock commissary. But also because Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, since it came on the air in 2009 has established the most aggressive and astute musical booking policy, pulling the rug out from Conan O'Brien, whose late night show used to attract all the hippest acts.