Starting Monday night, Jimmy Fallon will step down from his gig on NBC’s Late Night and replace a retiring Jay Leno as the host of NBC’s The Tonight Show.
Not only will the show have a new host, but it will also return to New York City, where it was originally filmed from 1957 to 1972. Former host Johnny Carson moved the show to Burbank, Calif., where it has resided for the past 44 years.
I can think of no better person to take over the show than Fallon, but NBC’s making a mistake moving the show back to the Big Apple.
During its time in Burbank, The Tonight Show became a part of the city’s culture and it proved to be top of the ratings in late-night television.
The main issue here is NBC is messing with tradition.
In comparison, the show spent more time in Burbank (44 years) than it did in NYC (15 years). One thing Carson would do was he would introduce The Tonight Show from “beautiful, downtown Burbank.”
NBC keeps announcing that moving the show back to New York is helping the show return to its roots. Is that really the case? Because the previous time a new host came in from Late Night, the show stayed put in southern California.
Again, Fallon deserves this job more than any other late-night host out there. However, with Fallon’s move to The Tonight Show, he brings Saturday Night Live and Late Night executive producer Lorne Michaels in as the executive producer of this show.
With his new role on The Tonight Show, Michaels now has control of most of NBC’s late-night television. Where has SNL spent its entire time as a show? New York City, that’s where.
It would only make sense that Michaels wanted to move the show closer to his other shows (SNL and Late Night). It seems the main focus here is money, not tradition.
The Tonight Show placed “beautiful, downtown Burbank” on the map and attracted a lot of good revenue for the city.
Over the years, television and movie studios have started to pack up and leave southern California. The Tonight Show stayed loyal to the West Coast and continued to produce tourism and revenue for Burbank.
The show also created jobs for many in southern California, all of whom have been laid off with Leno’s tenure coming to an end.
True, The Tonight Show will produce good revenue in NYC, but there are already plenty of entertainment opportunities in the Big Apple. CBS’s The Late Show with David Letterman is already filmed there and NBC’s new Late Night with Seth Meyers will be filmed in New York.
Again, congratulations to Fallon on a well-deserved promotion. However, NBC should have left The Tonight Show in Burbank. Not only would the entertainers and workers have appreciated it, but the fans and the residents of southern California would have, too.
Josh Martinez is the University Journal assistant Sports editor. He can be reached at email@example.com. The Journal welcomes submissions, which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We do not print anonymous opinions.