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George Lopez Should Be "Loco" For Coco

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 15th 2010 10:00AM
George LopezTBS has offered Conan O'Brien a deal that's so sweet, you could pour it over pancakes.

No one, however, is closer to achieving a full-on joygasm than 'Lopez Tonight' host George Lopez. He should. He's going to have an awesome lead-in audience, worldwide attention, and a better chance of beating the late night bigwigs than he could ever hope for if he was on his own.

So why should he not go "muy loco" or any other ethnically charged verb for sharing a late night block with "Coco"?

Well, if you asked Elizabeth Guider of The Hollywood Reporter, Lopez has more reasons to worry than Boy George at a Klan rally. She wrote an editorial about the deal that called for everything but an electro-shock sanity test for Lopez.

"Lopez went on to say that now everyone can go from 'I'm with Coco' to 'Everybody can go LoCo,' presumably in watching the back-to-back 'next generation of late-night stars' on TBS," Guider wrote. "After the twists and turns of the Leno-O'Brien saga, it's hard not to be suspicious that a deal to secure O'Brien and displace Lopez could have been worked out so smoothly."

Things can change at the drop of a remote in this game, and no grounds are more contentious or competitive than the cutthroat world of late night monarchies. But TBS is a different beast altogether.

First of all, other than 'The Daily Show,' 'The Colbert Report' and the 'Adult Swim' block, there isn't much of a late night war going on at the moment on basic cable. 'Lopez Tonight' is really the first serious contender on cable for a late night audience, and having Conan in his corner can only help him.

TBS also has a relatively loose roster of original shows and room to move things around if ratings going south. Their highest rated fare includes reruns of popular favorites like 'Family Guy,' and people will watch them whenever they air, thanks to the divine magic of TiVo and DVRs.

Late night shows are also relatively cheap to produce, as long as they aren't interrupting your primetime show blocks the way that 'The Jay Leno Show' did when it moved to 10PM. Lopez has built a sizable audience for a network in such hallowed territory and TBS has no reason to kick one out for another. Plus, both Conan and George's shows will have plenty of help from the audience spillover that comes from 'Family Guy's' regular audiences.

Most importantly, it's a better deal for both of them. Conan's new deal frees him from any restrictions that NBC placed on him when he had to soften his show for a new audience, and he actually owns his show. So whatever comedy madness his ginger head can concoct is fair game. Plus, Lopez's audience is more suited to a midnight show, according to Conan's manager Gavin Polone. That's on top of the bleed-over from Conan's show.

So put away the shock collar and the mouth guard, stop starching that straight jacket, and flush Lopez's Thorazine prescription down the toilet. Lopez's reaction isn't delusional. It's pure, natural euphoria.

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I can see the promos of Conan with the cast of 'Meet the Browns' and 'House of Payne' now.

April 15 2010 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gordy's comment

Ew. Horrible. TBS really needs to get rid of those shows to fully shed their baggage of bad programming. I'm sure some people like it, just like some people like According to Jim, or having hot wax poured over their nipples. Personally, it is unappealing, both Tyler Perry fuddy-duddy corny comedies, and hot wax.

April 15 2010 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm definitely going to tune in for Conan's show. I might actually stick around to watch Lopez now. This is a very smart move for both of them. TBS man. Remember back in the day when USA had crappy shows like Silk Stalkings? They have totally reinvented themselves. I think TBS is well on their way as well.

April 15 2010 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Axel Harris

As long as I get to watch Conan when I feel like it, I really don't care about the details.

April 15 2010 at 10:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, Lopez is moving later, but I would think going after a new show with Conan's audience has to be better then going after the 900th Family Guy repeats.

April 15 2010 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Conan's always had a cult following but a move to TBS isn't exactly going to bring big numbers and I think TBS knows that. If they can make money off him, then that's all they care about.

April 15 2010 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to John's comment

I agree with the concept the "awesome lead-in" is so much TV Squad hype for no reason and no track record to back it up. Does the author really think TBS will have nig numbers? They are asking the avergae TV viiewer to forego local news. I am not saying it is right, but the average TV viewer watches local news.

April 15 2010 at 4:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mike -

I don't think anyone will "forgo" local news. First, in my city, local news airs during 3 different hours. Second, both Conan and Lopez will most likely have "encore" showings that are later than most local news stations air. Third, they have a streaming site which many COB fans who don't have cable will be watching. Fourth - uh... DVR anyone?

I don't think Conan being an awesome lead-in is stated as a fact in this article. They're theorizing its success to contradict another person's theory. However, lead-ins are statistically huge factors in a show's success. When Conan had decent lead ins (the Summer of 09), his ratings were good. Leno became the late night winner when his lead ins were Friends, Seinfeld and ER - all successful shows. I don't really think TV Squad has to provide a spreadsheet or graph taken from Nielson's statistics to back up this theory.

April 16 2010 at 2:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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