Only in New York…

A tentative state budget includes a provision that seems directly aimed at helping ‘The Tonight Show’ move back to the Big Apple, according to the New York Daily News.

Following rumors that NBC is moving its popular late-night talk show from California back to New York with a new host – Jimmy Fallon – replacing Jay Leno, New York state legislators found a crafty way to help encourage the move.

The provision falls under the state’s tax credits for movies filmed in New York.  Now, those will include certain television shows, specifically “a talk or variety program that filmed at least five seasons outside the state prior to its first relocated season in New York, “and with episodes that are “filmed before a studio audience” of at least 200 people.  The program also needs at least a $30 million annual production budget or $10 million in capital expenses to qualify.

Steve Allen – First host of ‘The Tonight Show’ (Photo Credit: AP)

In other words, a program exactly like ‘The Tonight Show.’  Other “talk or variety” shows might meet the budget and studio audience thresholds, but the give-away is in the specificity of the re-location requirements.  ’The Tonight Show’ left New York in 1972, moving from West 44th St. to the west coast of California, where it established itself as “the Granddaddy of talk shows” by being the longest currently running television entertainment program.  NBC is building a new studio at Rockefeller Plaza, but has not confirmed the relocation of the Tonight Show.

The tax law change could help.  Currently, television series and movies already get a tax credit for 30% of their production costs if they start up in New York, but not if they relocate.  The credit costs the state over $400 million in revenue per year.

If Fallon does take over in New York, the city will be second to none as a home for talk or variety shows.  The following programs already call New York Home:

  • Anderson Live
  • The Colbert Report
  • The Daily Show
  • The View
  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
  • The Early Show
  • Good Morning America
  • Late Show with David Letterman
  • The Rachael Ray Show
  • Saturday Night Live
  • The Today Show
  • The Wendy Williams Show

and many more…

Last, but not least, if you haven’t seen Jimmy Fallon’s Star Wars parody from the 2005 MTV Music Awards, you need to:

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