When Jimmy Fallon takes the reigns from Jay Leno at the “Tonight Show” come February, a lot more than just who’s sitting in the host seat will be different about the show.
For starters, “Tonight” will be moved from its longtime home in Burbank to Fallon’s home at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.
And while the late-night show will cost more to produce on the east coast, NBC will actually save money in the long run thanks to New York’s tax breaks.
The Hollywood Reporter analysed the situation, explaining:
New York’s state incentives program was amended this year to provide a 30 per cent annual tax credit for talk programs filmed before a studio audience of at least 200, as long as they carry a production budget of at least $30 million and have been shot outside New York for at least five seasons …
A knowledgeable source says the cost to produce ‘Tonight’ in Burbank is about $1.7 million a week. For a show in production 45 weeks a year, the total cost is about $76.5 million annually. (Not including salaries.)
Using the $76.5 million production budget, a 30 per cent credit would then yield $22.95 million in savings.
Despite “Tonight” costing more to shoot in New York, “the increase will be more than offset by the tax credit” — which, according to THR, “is key because network sources say ‘Tonight’ now generates just $30 million to $40 million a year in profit — a far cry from the $150 million a year the franchise once made.”
“Tonight” will also reportedly be eligible for the “Made in New York” marketing credit that provides free advertising on NYC bus shelters, subway cards and on taxi TV.
NBC declined to comment on THR’s financial analysis.
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