The annual show is held by the Motion Picture Association of America, or MPAA, and, according to the L.A. Times, representatives denied that any talks with Fallon or Michaels were happening. Newser reported that the academy president did go after a producer, although the name was not disclosed.
Although Fallon is a popular, young face that could be a hit with Oscar audiences, his employment with NBC could be a major snag. "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" is the main competition for Jimmy Kimmel's late-night talk show, which airs on ABC, the same channel of the Oscars. There's a strong sense NBC wouldn't allow Fallon to give its competition any kind of boost.
The Oscars have been a favorite target for television in critics in recent years first because of the negative reviews James Franco and Anne Hathaway's teaming garnered and later when Eddie Murphy backed out of the 2012 Oscars, making Billy Crystal the host almost by default.
Both Jon Stewart and David Letterman have been Oscars hosts in the past. Letterman's stint was before ABC had a late-night show that rivaled his, and Stewart, being on Comedy Central, has an audience that isn't considered a threat to Kimmel. Fallon hosted the Emmys in 2010 -- an event that's been hailed as a success.
Since taking over the "Late Night" hosting gig from Conan O'Brien, Fallon has carved out his own niche audience. Fans look to him for his impersonations of music's biggest stars and for him to take guests out of the normal forced Q&A session on the couch. A report earlier this month from TV By The Numbers said the Leno/Fallon pairing on NBC beat out ABC and CBS, although the networks are usually very close.
No matter the contract situation, if the MPAA is hoping to attract younger viewers, they could do much worse than Fallon as a replacement for Crystal. Here's the host performing "The History of Rap" with Justin Timberlake.