BURBANK (CBSLA.com) — Jay Leno will be leaving NBC’s “Tonight Show” — and hundreds of Southland jobs could be going with him.
NBC confirmed Wednesday that Jimmy Fallon will take over for Leno next spring, when the new “Tonight Show” will move from Burbank to New York City.
Lorne Michaels, creator and producer of Fallon’s late night alma mater “Saturday Night Live”, will also take over as producer of the show.
Leno, who hosted the “Tonight Show” for a successful 22-year run, had been rumored to be stepping down despite a contract with NBC that extends through 2014.
In a statement, Leno congratulated his successor, saying, “I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re the old guy. If you need me, I’ll be at the garage.”
Hollywood Reporter news director Matt Belloni told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the move to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York could be just the latest example of runaway production in the Southland.
“The ‘Tonight Show’ has been in Burbank since 1972 when Johnny Carson moved it here,” Belloni said. “I think it’s sort of the end of an era.”
About 200 jobs associated with “Tonight” will be shifted to New York, Belloni added.
On Monday, “Late Night” released a duet on YouTube with Leno and Fallon addressing the long-standing rumors by singing their own version of the classic duet “Tonight” from the Broadway musical “West Side Story.”
Another “Saturday Night Live” alum, Seth Meyers, has been rumored to take over for Fallon’s “Late Night” show.