The Tonight Show comes home to NYC

Photo by The Jimmy Fallon Show
Photo by The Jimmy Fallon Show

HOST INTRO: For the first time since the 70s, the Tonight Show is back in New York. Lara McCaffrey reports on what the show’s homecoming means for New York economically and culturally.

The Tonight Show has a new look, a new host, a new house band.

Sound from the Tonight Show. (10 seconds. Continues under narration.)

The set has been revamped, at the same studio in 30 Rock once used by Tonight Show hosts Jack Paar and Johnny Carson.

FALLON: Welcome to the Tonight Show. This is the first Tonight Show broadcasted from New York in almost 40 years.

Although exact numbers weren’t disclosed, NBC and parent company Comcast invested millions to get the show back to New York. NBC lobbied Governor Cuomo for a tax break for relocation. When legislature passed the state budget March last year, it included a tax credit to cover talk shows that relocate to New York.

The move and investment means 240 new jobs at NBC and hundreds more according to the New York State Film Office says.The show not only brings jobs but tourism too. David Hinckley is TV Critic at the New York Daily News. He says the shots of New York City on the show remind non-New Yorkers about everything there is to see in the city and want to come here.

HINCKLEY: I mean when you watched Jimmy Fallon’s first show on Monday night and you saw the rooftop shot of where the U2 concert was being played out against the Manhattan skyline you thought “wow that’s impressive, that’s really impressive.” People in New York know that already I, but that reminds people in Kansans and in Mississippi and in Los Angeles, here’s something that New York has that no one else has, there’s a sweep to it.

J.P. Singh teaches economics at George Mason University. He specializes in the economics of entertainment., the show also boosts one of New York’s greatest revenue drivers: “culture tourism”.

SINGH: So although Wall Street is very important to New York but on the other hand New Yorkers are all about their culture. And people come to New York to experience its culture so anything that drives that is sure to boost culture tourism.

New Yorkers know they lived in one of the entertainment capitals of the world, but it’s significant to have a talk show with as much prestige and history as the Tonight

Show here in New York City. Sam Craig is the Director of the Entertainment, Media and Tech Program at New York University.

CRAIG: I think more on another level it’s sort of a psychic boost because Carson left in ’72 and having it come back to New York is a big plus.

One city’s loss is another city’s gain. David Hinckley says that this is a little victory for New York over their rivals—Los Angeles.

HINCKLEY: I mean New York and LA always have a rivalry for culture and entertainment events are always rivals for entertainment and occasions and in the most primitive sense it’s sorta a gotcha for New York. Ha! We took this one.

The Tonight Show’s already here, now they just got to keep opening week’s high ratings. It’s tough competition in that 11:30 slot.

Lara McCaffrey, Columbia Radio News.

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