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NEW YORK (Reuters) - NBC plans to move "The Tonight Show" from California to New York, its original home base, where Jimmy Fallon will succeed Jay Leno as host, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing several unnamed senior television executives.
No date for the shift of the top-rated late-night talk show had been set, but it was expected to take place by autumn 2014, the Times said.
"There is no way on earth that this is not going to happen," the Times quoted an unidentified senior executive as saying.
NBC did not respond to Reuters' requests for comment.
Leno, 62, has won the ratings for much of his tenure since taking over for longtime "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson in 1992. NBC replaced Leno with Conan O'Brien in 2009, but soon brought Leno back to the show.
"The Tonight Show" started in New York in 1954, but Carson moved the show to Burbank, California, in 1972. It has maintained a hold on U.S. popular culture for decades, a show for celebrities to promote their latest ventures and a forum that has provided a springboard for leading standup comedians.
Fallon, 38, a former cast member of "Saturday Night Live," has hosted "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" in the time slot following "The Tonight Show" since 2009.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Peter Cooney)