Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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(CNN) – Imagine the butterflies comedian Jimmy Fallon must have had swirling around his stomach when he heard an announcer belt out the words: "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon."
Fallon officially took over as the host of the show in a star-studded debut that drew more than 11 million viewers.
But while it was important to come out of the gate firing on all cylinders, many wonder if he can make the magic last.
"Fallon wants to hang on to Leno's viewers, median age 58, and get younger viewers, too. So that's a difficult dance he's playing there," said The Wall Street Journal's Christopher John Farley, author of "Game World."
"But going viral is really the name of the game these days. He has a bigger social media footprint than Leno," said Farley.
At time of writing, a video from the debut show, "The Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing" starring Fallon and actor Will Smith had more than 2.2 million views the show's YouTube link.
"That's almost half as much as "The Tonight Show" typically gets in viewers on TV. So, he's on the right track, scoring a viral hit his first time out. He's got to keep on doing that. Because that's what comics have to do these days," said Farley.
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The Lead with Jake Tapper draws not only on Tapper’s deep knowledge of politics and national issues, but also seeks to examine and advance stories across a wide range of topics that demonstrate his own curiosities and interests. Compelling headlines come from around the country and the globe, from politics to money, sports to popular culture, based on news drivers of the day.
The Lead with Jake Tapper airs weekdays at 4 p.m. ET.
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