Johnny Carson has abandoned plans to do his "Tonight" show live from Los Angeles, a switch that had been scheduled to go into effect tonight.

Frederick de Cordova, producer of the popular late-night NBC Show, said yesterday that the 8:30 p.m. Los Angeles starting time that would have been necessary in order to "live" in the East at 11:30 p.m. precluded the use of many guests who appear on the show but play Las Vegas in the evening.

Therefore the show will continue to be taped at 5:30 LA time in Burbank for later showing on the East Coast at 11:30 p.m., de Cordova said Carson has taped the show since he took over from Jack Paar in 1962.

De Cordova pooh-poohed reports in trade publications that several key members of Carson's staff had revolted over the proposed later hour because it would interfere with their family life.

However, Broadcasting magazine backed up that version of the change this week with a quote to that effect from David Tebet, NBC's senior vice president for talent and one of the most powerful men at that network.

Also dropped was a scheduled appearance tonight by Frank Sinatra on the first live show. The singer plans to make a later appearance, de Cordova said, but is tied up with business in New York. Actor Jimmy Stewart will be one of the principal guests tonight.