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Jimmy Fallon Is a Lock for ‘The Tonight Show,’ Which Is Even Moving Back to NYC for Him

Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Rumors about an impending late-night shakeup have come to a head, proving that internet rumors are always true (they’re not always true).

Reports that NBC is not only giving the imitable Jimmy Fallon a turn at the ‘Tonight Show’ helm, but also moving the program back to its old stomping grounds — New York City — have all but been confirmed by top executives.

The New York Times reports that NBC is covertly working on a brand new studio for Jimmy, which will become the new home of the ‘Tonight Show’ — putting it back on the East Coast for the first time since Johnny Carson moved the program to Los Angeles in 1962.

Fallon has good reasons to stay in NYC: He’s a New York native, he’s close friends with ‘SNL’ honcho Lorne Michaels, and he wouldn’t have to cut ties with his house band, the Roots.

There’s no word on when the switch will happen, but current host Jay Leno’s contract runs out in the fall of 2014, which would probably be the latest date. Either way, an executive told the Times there’s “no way” the deal isn’t going to happen, and the Hollywood Reporter says an announcement could come as soon as the May upfronts.

NBC had a well-publicized debacle when it tried to swap Jay Leno out with Conan O’Brien in 2010 and everything exploded in a mess of peacock feathers, leading to some bad blood within NBC.

This deal is a win-win for everyone. Jimmy Fallon gets a hot new studio (couple of throw pillows?). Jay Leno gets to spend all day counting his money and wandering his huge garages full of motorcycles and classic cars. In fact the only person who doesn’t win might be David Letterman, who will have to compete against Fallon for ratings.

That said, reports that Leno’s parking spot has been replaced with a Jacuzzi are not true. Yet.

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