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NY Post: 'Tonight Show' ready to move; New host - new studio
Topic Started: Jan 5 2009, 04:09 PM (179 Views)
Ellie


http://www.nypost.com/seven/01052009/tv/tonight_is_ready_to_move_147277.htm

By SEAN DALY

Posted: 2:23 am
January 5, 2009

WHEN Conan O'Brien takes over the "Tonight Show" in June, it will be the first time in nearly 40 years that the show will get a new home.

Conan is leaving behind the studio in "beautiful downtown Burbank" that Johnny Carson made famous and moving several miles away into the house that Jack Benny built.

TV shows reflect the places where they are made - think of Oprah and Chicago or the "Today" show and Rockefeller Center. It's part of their show- business DNA.

That means the "Tonight Show" will be changing more than its host when it moves from Burbank to Universal Studios this summer.

Crews have been working for months to prepare the new digs at the same Hollywood soundstage built in the 1950s to be occupied by "The Jack Benny Show."

"Tonight" debuted in September 1954 and was broadcast live from New York for its first 10 years.

Carson moved the show to NBC's West Coast headquarters in Burbank in May 1972. Leno has used the same studio - with some minor alterations - since 1992.

O'Brien takes over the coveted late-night program from Jay Leno June 1. And Leno will broadcast his new, 10 p.m. nightly show from his current "Tonight" studio in Burbank.

Universal Studios is doing a complete renovation to its historic Stage One, which will house a new state-of-the-art set, an audience reception area and several levels of offices for the show's staff.

Stage One opened in 1961 and was most recently occupied by "Desperate Housewives."

It has also been used for the TV show "Knight Rider" (the original) and the movies "Jurassic Park III" and "Bruce Almighty."

The network has been highly protective of the new set-up. Repeated requests last week for information and pictures of the new home of the "Tonight Show" were turned down.

Tickets for the "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" are not available yet.

But a Universal spokesperson tells The Post that the first people to get them will be guests at the theme park located next to the studio.

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