Fallon's Late Night to Debut Online

Lorne Michaels told reporters Sunday that he plans to premiere Jimmy Fallon as the new host of Late Night on the internet. He plans five or six months of webcasts prior to the 2009 debut of Mr. Fallon’s version of the show, according to TV Week.

The Observer interviewed Mr. Michaels about preparing Mr. Fallon for the dubious taks of replacing Conan O’Brien last May:

“When Conan came on in ’93, it was all about following Dave and how miserably he was failing at that,” he told Doree Shafrir. “Jimmy’s not going to try to do Conan’s show. He’s gonna do Jimmy’s show. The hard part of his job is finding Jimmy’s show. It’ll take six months or a year or two.”

Indeed, with the debut of the show so far off, Mr. Fallon is still very much in the conceptual stages. “Anything’s open,” he said. “We’re up for everything. First you get your producers, who are under Lorne. Then the head writer. Then you sit down and talk about it.”

Mr. Michaels reiterated his point to reporters yesterday, according to TV Week:

Mr. Michaels said his experience launching “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” taught him how hard it can be to launch a new late-night host. Premiering on the Web presumably will allow Mr. Fallon to work the kinks out before he ends up on TV.

What’s more, Mr. Michaels said, the webcasts could “help define what the show looks like” by allowing Mr. Fallon to more broadly experiment with different kinds of comedy. “It will let Jimmy do stuff you don’t normally find on television,” Mr. Michaels said.

Mr. Michaels also said he hopes the younger audience that finds the show on the Internet will then make the move to TV with Mr. Fallon.

Fallon's Late Night to Debut Online