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Conan Is Coming Back To TV... on TBS

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 12th 2010 1:15PM
ConanThe long wait is over. Right on the day that Conan O'Brien starts his cross-country tour in Oregon comes this rather large announcement: Conan is coming back to TV this November! But if you're thinking that he's going to do a late night show on FOX, you'd be mistaken. Instead, think "Very Funny."

Joe Adalian at TheWrap.com (and Conan himself on Twitter) confirm that he's going to do a late night show on TBS. This is rather interesting, because everyone assumed that FOX would be the place that Conan would want to go to because they're the last "big" network where he could have a late night show. CBS and NBC already have something and while ABC was sorta mentioned in the mix, they're happy with 'Nightline' and 'Jimmy Kimmel Live.'

Congratulations to Conan. Honestly, this is a much better move for him than FOX would have been. Sure, FOX would have given him a bigger platform (if the affiliates would have been happy about it, which a lot of them weren't), but that bigger platform might have been his eventual downfall. There would have been more pressure to succeed and more pressure to succeed quickly.

All of the talk in the media would be "is he beating Leno yet?" This way, he's in a place where he can be Conan, and the people who are going to tune into TBS at 11PM ('Lopez Tonight' is going to move to midnight) will be his true loyal fans. I bet the whole NBC fiasco soured Conan on doing something major on a major network. But hey, TBS is pretty big on cable. It's not like he'll be doing a 1AM show on Lifetime ("Conan: Television For Women").

In other words, Conan has decided that instead of being a big fish in a big pond he's going to be a giant fish in a pretty big pond.

It's a good deal too. Not only is Conan getting the deal of his life, Adalian says that he's going to own the show as well. Right now Conan is doing that little string dance he did for 17 years on 'Late Night' and the four and a half minutes he had 'The Tonight Show.'

If I remember correctly, TBS was mentioned in the list of places Conan could end up, but it was down on the list, after networks like FOX and maybe even FX. So what do you think of this development? Is he making a mistake or is it the perfect fit? As usual, O'Brien gets off the best line about the situation: "In three months I've gone from network television to Twitter to performing live in theaters and now I'm headed to basic cable...my plan is working perfectly."

Lopez should release a funny, mock-angry press release, saying that he refuses to go to midnight because if he does it will no longer be 'Lopez Tonight.'

I wonder if Jay will congratulate him on the show tonight?

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Jeff Kelley

Watching Conan and his chubby buddy Andy right now. I'm not a big tv aficiando, but I'm glad he's back and together they are better than ever. Good move by TBS. I might watch again someday.

October 26 2011 at 2:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ugh cant he just go away

April 14 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

Just read this over on AOL TV News Daily.

These figures are according to Media Decoder...

Average age for late night show audiences:

Leno - 56 / Letterman - 54 / Ferguson - 52 / Fallon - 50 / Stewart - 49 / Kimmel - 52 / Colbert - 37 / Lopez - 33. - Conan at the helm of the Tonight Show - 46.

Tonight Show ratings have increased under Leno 50%. His March average was 4.4 million viewers which is above Letterman's avg.

Since many here have said that Conan had a much younger audience, these figures say otherwise. So please knock off the baby boomer comments. We are the majority of viewers on a majority of late night shows. Baby boomers were born 1945 thru 1965, I believe, making them 45-65 years old.

Conan will probably do well on TBS, as does Lopez. IF you Conan fans watch the show!

April 12 2010 at 10:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Professor Zed

This is fantastic! Now I won't have to sit through the depressing news waiting for Letterman to start. First 35 minutes Conan, then over to Dave. Thank-you TBS! (But what happens when baseball is airing?)

April 12 2010 at 9:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris J

Good news for Conan - but bad for Canadian viewers who don't get TBS...

April 12 2010 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Chris J's comment

Some Canadian station will probably pick it up

April 12 2010 at 10:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Now to speculate on the following:
1. What will the show be called? I hope it is not called "Conan" or "The Conan O'Brien" show" or something lame like that.
2. Where will it be shot? We know it will be in LA. NBC had offered the studio where he shot The Tonight Show at Universal, or maybe he'll move to the WB lot, since Time Warner owns it.
3. Will Andy and/or Max join him on TBS? It would not surprise me if one or both do not make the move with him. Max is not on the tour. He didn't want to move west with the show, but he did. But this is not The Tonight Show...

April 12 2010 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jimmy's comment

I thought it would be Night Owl with Conan O'Brien back when he was considering FOX, but now that he's allied himself with TBS I don't have a clue. I'm still a little numb from the news.

April 12 2010 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here's a big part of this test: Cable (dish, etc) only. for that part of the world that uses antennas, no Conan. The women's NCAA basketball tournament is ESPN only but pother major events (NASCAE, Golf) share with their network brethren. we will see how deep TBS is willing to go. The half-hour jump helps, but will that be sampling then switching? And, if you watch late local news, will you be at interested. Ad revenue is based on live viewers not tapers, DVDers, etc.

April 12 2010 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ironically, with an 11 PM EST time slot, Conan will be airing during prime time on the west coast. In Denver, he'll be airing at 9 PM, just like Leno did.

April 12 2010 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

TBS. Hmmm..........Hope all the coco fans WATCH this one. At least Conan has a sense of humor about his fall of the last few months.

April 12 2010 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, this is not so much a bump rather than Lopez knows that with a Conan lead-in, he's likely to stay on TBS' dole. Lopez isn't bad but c'mon, he's barely hanging on. Have you watched his show? He's barely better than Leno.

April 12 2010 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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