All but confirming the weeks of rumors, The New York Times is now reporting that NBC has quietly made an offer to move Jimmy Fallon to The Tonight Show no later than fall 2014, a one-and-a-half-year transition that matches the pace of the retaliatory barbs Jay Leno is currently lobbing the network’s way. The news comes from The Late Shift and The War For Late Night writer Bill Carter, who admirably refrained from yelling, “Oh boy! New book!” in his passing along the news, citing several unnamed sources close to the situation.
Also backing Carter up is the fact that NBC has “quietly begun work on a new studio in its headquarters building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza as the home for the new Tonight show,” presumably using very quiet rubber hammers. So, the new Jimmy Fallon era would also mark a return for The Tonight Show to its former New York home—where it taped from 1954, until Johnny Carson decided to move it to Burbank in 1972—with all the opportunity for “crazy New Yorker” jokes there. Naturally, NBC has not offered any official comment, and meanwhile Fallon has been playing the diplomat, asking in the latest issue of GQ, “I mean, in the nicest way, who really cares?” Excellent question. Someone must, right? Maybe Rickey Minor?