Jimmy Fallon

This Feb. 21, 2013 photo released by NBC shows Jimmy Fallon, host of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," on the set in New York. As Jay Leno lobs potshots at ratings-challenged NBC in his "Tonight Show" monologues, speculation is swirling the network is taking steps to replace the host with Jimmy Fallon next year and move the show from Burbank to New York. NBC confirmed Wednesday, March 20, it's creating a new studio for Fallon in New York, where he hosts "Late Night." But the network did not comment on a report that the digs at its Rockefeller Plaza headquarters may become home to a transplanted, Fallon-hosted "Tonight Show." (AP Photo/NBC, Lloyd Bishop) ** Usable by LA and DC Only ** (Lloyd Bishop / NBC / February 18, 2013)

For more than 40 years, a studio at the corner of Olive and Alameda avenues in Burbank has been churning out a show that keeps viewers up late. But with NBC's "Tonight Show" poised to migrate back to New York, Southern California is in danger of losing not just jobs but also cultural clout.

News sunk in Thursday that NBC is hatching a plan to replace "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon next year and move the show back to New York, the city it fled in the early 1970s, not long before New York was mired in a bankruptcy crisis. Reaction has poured in along predictable lines: New Yorkers are gloating, Angelenos despairing. The mayor of Burbank is even organizing an official plea to persuade NBC to keep the show where it is.

Long-time late-night producer Robert Morton, who worked with David Letterman on "Late Night" and "The Late Show," and now lives mainly in Los Angeles, sees the move to New York as a smart one. "As far as I am concerned it's the best place to do late-night TV," he said.

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