In the latest round of late night talk show rumours, the New York Times claims that several NBC “senior executives involved in the deal”—to replace Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show—say the move will happen sometime before fall of 2014 and that the show will be based in New York.
In fact, they say that NBC is currently building a studio in 30 Rockefeller Plaza (home to Fallon’s old stomping grounds, Saturday Night Live.)
The Tonight Show was originally set in New York, premiering with Steve Allen in 1954. Carson also did his show from the east coast—although he moved the show to Burbank, Calif., in 1972.
And when Conan O’Brien took over the show from Leno in 2009, NBC forced him to relocate to the west coast.
While NBC hasn’t made an official announcement about Fallon taking over the Tonight Show, the rumours been circulating for weeks. And Leno now has his back up. He’s been lobbing soft ball jokes at NBC’s poor ratings during his monologue.
That said, Leno himself has strong ratings—finishing first in his time slot the last few weeks.
The Times speculates that the reason to bring Fallon in and push Leno out, when Leno’s contract comes up in 2014, is to combat the increasing popularity of ABC host Jimmy Kimmel, who, like Fallon, is much younger than Leno and Letterman.