Broadway’s back and The Tonight Show is celebrating.
The Tonight Show co-showrunner Jamie Granet-Bederman told Deadline why they planned a weekly musical extravaganza, Fallon’s love for a musical spot and plans to ramp up the parodies that it does over the next few months as late-night kicks into gear following the summer break.
Following Fallon’s Broadway’s Back number with Lin-Manuel Miranda in June, the comedian and his team are welcoming five Broadway shows to 30 Rock. Little Shop of Horrors kicked things off on Monday (see video below), followed by The Tina Turner musical.
Tonight, sees Dear Evan Hansen featuring Ben Platt, followed by Six and Wicked.
It is Fallon’s first Broadway special since he hosted his previous NBC talker Late Night.
Granet-Bederman said, “Jimmy is such a fan of Broadway. It’s the musician in him that really respects the craft of performance, and really understands it. He comes from that model of SNL, where you write something, build a set, he’s seen that and lived it, and therefore he has such respect for Broadway.”
She added that the timing was important to support the arts across the city. “Let’s do it when they need it, let’s bring attention to it. It’s so New York and so iconic.”
Planning started in July and August and Granet-Bederman, who has been in the job for nearly a year after working with Fallon for the last 12 years, said it wasn’t as challenging as it might appear. “I was nervous about it when we started talking about, in terms of how are we going to pull this off. But it hasn’t – and I will be the first one to say certain things are challenging –been that challenging. Our talent department did such an amazing job choosing the right acts and it’s a testament to our production staff.”
Granet-Bederman, who works closely with co-showrunner Nedaa Sweiss, said that now the summer break is over, they’ve got some exciting things lined up over the next few months.
She highlighted its recent viral Wandavision spoof, which she credited to Sweiss, as one of the other areas that they’d like to do more, building on Fallon’s silly streak. She also teased a big set piece with Jerry Seinfeld in coming weeks.
“We’re always trying to do more of the parodies and things like Broadway’s back and embrace pop culture into Jimmy’s world. We’re trying to do that as much as we can in Covid safeness,” she added. “We hope to get [stars] into the studio, people want to see people having fun and interacting. It’s about working out how to use the right celebrities in the right ways. So that people find it interesting because in this world of Instagram, you’re [already] voyeuristic into everyone’s lives as it is.”