NBC has a lot of reasons to be putting Jimmy Fallon in the host's chair of the Tonight Show, beyond the fact that Jay Leno is probably not the right guy to be putting out there every night any longer.
By a lot, I mean 20 million.
When Fallon takes over next February, the series will no longer air from California, as it is moving to New York City (more than likely to 30 Rockefeller Center). That move could net the series $20 million annually in tax breaks - and that is the low estimate.
New York's incentives program was changed this year and now provides a 30 percent annual tax credit for talk programs filmed before studio audiences of at least 200 people, provided their production budget tops $30 million and has shot outside New York (state) for a minimum of five seasons.
It is rumored that NBC spends just under $2 million a week to air Tonight from Burbank, California (its current home), which it does 45 weeks a year. Using those numbers, Tonight would save just under $23 million a year in NYC.
Add to that the fact that Fallon will cost less annually than Leno currently does and will likely draw younger demographics than Leno, it seems pretty easy to see why this move is going down.