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Reports and Rumors Swirl Around NBC's "Tonight Show" Drama

Paul Drinkwater/NBC(NEW YORK) -- The rumor mill is spinning again with regard to NBC's late-night schedule.

While some reports had NBC willing to yank Jay Leno from The Tonight Show for Jimmy Fallon before Leno's contract expires in 2014, TMZ is reporting that's not the case.

The gossip site reports after the network pulled Conan O'Brien from the show and replaced him with Leno, Leno's team had his re-upped contract include a built-in firewall so Leno doesn't get the hook just as unceremoniously.  That means NBC will have to pay up big time if they pull him before his contract is up.

The website Politico hints that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants Fallon to move The Tonight Show to New York City so badly that the politician "slipped" tax breaks in the Empire State's budget to sweeten the deal. 

While an aide to Cuomo denies the provision was meant specifically for The Tonight Show, the item reads the breaks will go to, "a talk or variety program that filmed at least five seasons outside the state prior to its first relocated season in New York."

The New York Post is reporting Late Night producer Lorne Michaels wants another Saturday Night Live vet to take Fallon's place, if and when he does move to 11:30 p.m.: "Weekend Update" host Seth Meyers.

"It would be perfect for him," a source explained.  "Tina Fey’s name had also come up, but she has said she was too busy to do it."

In an interview on CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper, Jimmy Kimmel couldn't resist dinging Leno again, saying "God, I hope so!" to the rumor that his recent move to 11:30 p.m. on ABC is reportedly prompting NBC to push Leno out. 

Kimmel said NBC already proved it wants to replace Leno, what with the 2009 O'Brien debacle.

"Obviously NBC is looking to move on," Kimmel jabbed, "because they did it once already."

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