NBC still has yet to publicly announce that Jimmy Fallon will take over The Tonight Show next fall, but The NY Times reports today that the network has made a commitment to Fallon and that the show will be moving from Burbank to New York when Fallon becomes host sometime next year. There’s no timetable yet for the transition, but “several senior television executives” tell the Times that it’ll happen by fall of 2014 at the latest. The network rushing the Fallon/Leno switch has been spurred on by Jimmy Kimmel moving to 11:35 and stealing young viewers away from Leno, even though Leno is still the #1-rated host in late night. NBC has begun constructing a new “state-of-the-art studio” at 30 Rockefeller Plaza for Fallon. This will reunite The Tonight Show with its home city after over four decades away. Tonight began in New York under host Steve Allen in 1954, and Johnny Carson moved the show to Burbank in 1972. With so many comedians leaving New York for LA in recent years, it’s nice to see a giant comedy institution move in the opposite direction.
The big question here is “Who’s going to take over Late Night?” With Fallon potentially leaving the show for Tonight, there’s been no word on who’s set to replace him. We recently made a list of 12 potential Late Night replacements we’d like to see, including frontrunners like Seth Meyers and John Mulaney and wildcards like Chris Gethard and Kristen Schaal. Meyers was asked about his post-SNL plans during a live conversation with Bill Carter at 92Y this week, and he joked about not being interested in hosting jobs on Jeopardy!, The View, or Al Jazeera. On the Late Night hosting gig, he didn’t deny interest though, commenting, “Nobody could do that job as well as Jimmy Fallon.” Meyers then said that it’s not smart to get one’s hopes up over one particular job in show business before quipping, “I could say I want the Al Jazeera job, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to get it.” Stay tuned as this massive late night shift continues to take shape.