EXCLUSIVE: With the new The Tonight Show launch coming in February, NBC is looking to ramp up Jimmy Fallon‘s writing staff. It is also looking for a lot of free work from potential scribes in guidelines that went out about a month ago. Though not an uncommon practice, such requests are prohibited under WGA rules. In this case, the extensive call for submission packets has triggered a complaint to WGA West filed last week, I’ve learned. The writers are concerned that the more evergreen material could end up on the show even if the writer who submitted it ends up not being hired. The guild is contacting NBCUniversal about the matter. Here’s Fallon‘s submission request:
Below are guidelines for Late Night with Fallon sketch submissions:
STEP 1: DESK PIECES
Applicants should come up with 3 ideas for low-production desk pieces. We’re not looking for scripts for each of them, just a good title, a few sentences that describe the bit and a few examples of what the jokes would be.
STEP 2: ADDITIONAL SKETCH IDEAS
We’re looking for 3 ideas for in-studio character pieces, audience plants, games, or ideas for pre-taped shorts or television parodies. Again, this entails a few sentences that describe the bit and a few examples of what the jokes would be.
STEP 3: ONE FULL SCRIPT
Choose your favorite sketch idea from the steps above and write one full script for it.
STEP 4: MONOLOGUE JOKES
We’d like to see 10 monologue jokes to get a sense of joke writing style. READ MORE »
As part of its Jay Leno-Jimmy Fallon announcement today, NBC confirmed that The Tonight Show will return to New York, where the veteran late-night show originated. In addition to the symbolism of the move, it would mean a windfall for New York, which has been lobbying hard to lure Tonight back to the Big Apple 40 years after the show relocated to Burbank. The wooing including slipping a provision in the proposed NY state budget clearly written with The Tonight Show that would reimburse up to 30% of the talk show’s production costs. The efforts payed off, and today New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a jubilant statement welcoming Tonight to the city. “We’re thrilled The Tonight Show is returning home to New York City, and it’s the perfect symbol of incredible comeback we’ve worked to create in our city’s film and television industry,” he said. “The Tonight Show will bring even more jobs and economic activity to our city — and we couldn’t be happier that one of New York’s own is bringing the show back to where it started — and where it belongs.”
Related: NBC Sets ‘Tonight Show’ Transition With Fallon Taking Over Read More »
UPDATED WRITETHRU: After months of speculation, a slew of news stories, a ton of late-night jokes and a Jay Leno-Jimmy Fallon duet, NBC has set a date for Leno’s departure from The Tonight Show and officially anointed Fallon as the new host of the venerable late-night franchise. Leno will depart in spring 2014 after 22 years. The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon will be based in New York, where the show originated, and be set at the 30 Rock studio that now houses Fallon’s Late Night; the studio is undergoing renovation that is slated to be completed in 2014 in time for the Tonight Show relaunch. The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon will be executive produced by Lorne Michaels, marking the first time the Saturday Night Live and Late Night executive producer has been in charge of NBC’s flagship late-night show.
Related: Lorne Michaels: The Real NBC Late-Night King
The timing of the Leno-Fallon changeover mirrors the events of 2009, when Leno handed The Tonight Show to Conan O’Brien in late May. This time around, the transition will be earlier (likely in February), taking advantage of NBC’s broadcast of the Sochi Winter Olympics, something NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke alluded to in today’s announcement (see it below). Ironically, NBC used the previous Winter Olympics in 2010 as a launching pad for Leno’s return to The Tonight Show after a nine-month hiatus. “Congratulations Jimmy,” Leno said today, keeping with the friendly relationship he and Fallon had been projecting. “I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re the old guy. If you need me, I’ll be at the garage.” Said Fallon: “I’m really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow.”
Related: Letterman Slams NBC & Jokes About Jay Leno’s Departure
Like the first time he was pushed out of The Tonight Show, Leno will likely leave while on top, as Tonight Show has consistently been ranking as the No. 1 late-night program despite NBC’s woeful primetime ratings in the first quarter. As for Late Night, Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers has been in discussions to replace Fallon when he moves to 11:30 PM and appears on track to succeed him. Both Fallon and Meyers honed their skills behind the anchor desk of SNL‘s Weekend Update. Michaels will remain as executive producer of SNL in addition to his exec producer duties on Tonight and will likely also stay on as exec producer of Late Night, especially if Meyers closes a deal as host.
Related: Speculation On NBC’s Jay Leno-Jimmy Fallon Transition Intensifies
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Fallon signing a new deal with NBC. Leno’s contract with the network is up in September 2014. Here’s NBC’s release: Read More »