Powered by i.TV
July 30, 2014

An End to the Late Night Drama? NBC Paying Conan $30M to Leave

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jan 15th 2010 7:39PM
Conan O'BrienLooks like NBC's late night problems are a thing of the past. Or, depending on the way you look at it, just getting started.

According to The Wrap, the network has agreed to pay Conan O'Brien $30 million to give up his 11:35PM 'Tonight Show' timeslot, making Jay Leno their go-to host on late night once again, and O'Brien a free agent.Conan O'BrienLooks like NBC's late night problems are a thing of the past. Or, depending on the way you look at it, just getting started.

According to The Wrap, the network has agreed to pay Conan O'Brien $30 million to give up his 11:35PM 'Tonight Show' timeslot, making Jay Leno their go-to host on late night once again, and Conan a free agent.

The deal, although not officially signed just yet, was worked up after round-the-clock negotiations with NBCU President and CEO Jeff Zucker, TV Chairman Jeff Gaspin and Marc Graboff, Co-Chair of NBC Entertainment and NBC Television Studios. After talks and negotiations were stalling earlier this week, Universal COO Ron Meyer swooped in to broker the deal on Tuesday.

So when will Conan say goodbye to 'The Tonight Show'? Many believe that next Friday, Jan. 22, would be his last show since there's been a week-long hiatus on the schedule for quite some time during that following week. Leno, meanwhile, would resume his post at 11:35 on March 1, according to the Live Feed.

Whenever it's announced though, you'd better believe the Conan Goodbye Party will be star-studded. Tom Hanks confirmed today on Twitter (@TomHanks) that he'll be visiting his old pal Coco on Tuesday. Barry Manilow is expected to be Conan's final guest, PopEater exclusively revealed.

And while it won't be goodbye forever for Conan, he won't likely be able to jump to another network immediately. Sources are saying that the deal stipulates exactly when Conan will be free to start a new, competing late-night program on another network without risking penalty of a lessened payout or, even worse, a lawsuit. It could be as soon as this fall, or as long as a year from now.

As for Conan's loyal staff, many of whom followed him making the move from New York to Los Angeles, that's another sticking point for negotiations. If this new NBC deal does keep Conan from taking another job soon, as is expected, his staff will need to continue receiving paychecks. With hundreds of them to account for, it could definitely get pricey.

Meanwhile, another sad note for Conan fans: According to an additional report from the Live Feed, Conan won't be taking the Masturbating Bear or his 'In The Year 3000' skit with him, as NBC owns the intellectual rights to many of his gags.

An official announcement is expected from NBC shortly. More details to come ...

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

Follow Us

From Our Partners