Burbank Mayor Threatens “Tonight Show” Hunger Strike

BURBANK, Calif. (KTLA) — The city of Burbank is not just sitting back and letting NBC move “The Tonight Show” back to New York.

The city’s mayor, Dave Golonski, says he is going on a hunger strike to protest any such move by the network after 40 years.

Leno’s contract with NBC is not up until September 2012, but there has been talk of Fallon moving up to Leno’s slot next summer or even earlier.

And unlike Conan O’Brien, who moved from New York to Los Angeles for the “Tonight Show” gig, Fallon is expected to remain in New York City.

NBC has confirmed that a new studio is being built for Fallon in New York, where he hosts “Late Night.”

However, the network has not commented on the speculation about a Fallon-hosted “Tonight” based at its Rockefeller Plaza headquarters.

Mayor Golonski says he hopes that NBC will reconsider moving the show, and instead let it stay in Burbank.

He says the show is an iconic part of Burbank and is part of the city’s history. The mayor himself has been featured on the show many times.

“The Tonight Show is part of the tourism in our entire region, in the Southern California region,” Golonski explained.

“People come out to see Hollywood, they come out to see The Tonight Show, they come out to see Jay Leno. So I think it will have an impact on us.”

Mayor Golonski also said that the many employees who work on the show will be impacted as well.

The show was first brought west to Burbank from New York by Johnny Carson in 1972.

When Conan O’Brien took over briefly, he shot the show at Universal City, where NBC moved most of its operations a few years ago.

After Leno took the reins back again less than a year later, he opted to stay in Burbank, and NBC leased a couple of studios for him.

An official with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office says that the state is trying to lure TV shows from California with a proposed tax credit program.

“Tonight” would qualify if it decides to move back to Manhattan, but the official would not say if the state is trying to attract the show.

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