Break Up the Desk Set

As Tonight shifts, late night could use real change

Illustration by Oliver Munday for TIME

As Tonight shifts, late night could use real change.

When NBC announced on april 3 that Jimmy Fallon would take over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno next year, the question was, Could 38-year-old Fallon maintain Tonight as a dominant cultural icon? The answer: No--it hasn't been one for years. Leno still beats David Letterman's and Jimmy Kimmel's ratings, narrowly, among the under-50 fans who determine ad rates. But he's been losing to Comedy Central's fake news and sometimes to the Cartoon Network too. And he long ago lost the watercooler. On a recent Mad Men episode set in 1967, a business scrapped a Super Bowl ad because of a...

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