In five years, Conan O’Brien will move up one hour in the NBC schedule. The talk show host will replace Jay Leno in 2009, when he retires, the network announced today.
“In 2009, I’ll be 59 years old and will have had this dream job for 17 years,” Leno said in a statement. “When I signed my new contract, I felt that the timing was right to plan for my successor, and there is no one more qualified than Conan. Plus, I promised (my wife) Mavis I would take her out for dinner before I turned 60.”
O’Brien is the current host of “Late Night,” which airs one hour after Leno’s “Tonight Show.”
It is likely that O’Brien would move from New York to Los Angeles, where Leno tapes his show, when they make the switch, but no plans have been made.
O’Brien signed a new contract on Monday.