Los Angeles could be losing an institution, “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”
So says the New York Times, which reports today that work is already underway at NBC's Manhattan studio complex and headquarters, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where Jimmy Fallon of “Late Night” and “Saturday Night Live” is waiting in the wings to take over.
According to the paper …
… the network has made a “commitment” to Fallon, not yet on paper, to have the host takeover Leno's duties (which were retaken by the oldster, if you can remember, in a battle with Conan O'Brien in 2010).
Fallon's rise should happen by fall of 2014, when Leno's contract with the network expires, the Times says:
Mr. Fallon quickly impressed NBC's new management under Comcast, and his succession has been widely expected for at least a year. The only question has been when.
A spate of jokes about NBC's ratings and the quality of its shows during Leno's monologues in recent weeks appeares to have strained the host's relationship with the network, but NBC told the paper things had been “smoothed over.”
Johnny Carson made “The Tonight Show” a staple of NBC's Burbank facilities way back in 1972.