Jim Bell Shifts to ‘Tonight Show’

Jim Bell, veteran producer at NBC, has moved to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He will be executive-in-charge and showrunner on the program, which is struggling against CBS late-night entry The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

Bell has spent 27 years at NBC, much of it running Today, which he left in 2012. His title prior to The Tonight Show was president of NBC Olympics production and programming.

CBS tapped a hot producer of its morning newscast, Chris Licht, to take over The Late Show in 2016.

Fallon, formerly in the cast on Saturday Night Live, will continue his fun-and-games persona, according to the New York Times, and will not make a major shift to poking fun of the news of the day.

The Tonight Show had been run by Gerard Bradford, Mike DiCenzo and Katie Hockmeyer. Bradford will move to a different producing role on the show, said the NY Times. Hockmeyer is staying on Tonight Show and DiCenzo is departing. “What a dream decade at my dream job,” he said on Twitter. 

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.