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Surprise! Conan O'Brien Headed to TBS

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 12, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 12, 2010 |

Word is out this morning, from Conan O’Brien himself (via Tweet), that he will not be going to Fox, as many had speculated. Instead, Conan O’Brien’s new show will begin in November. On TBS.


O’Brien apparently killed talks with Fox after it became apparent that the network had some issues, particularly with affiliates, who weren’t all guaranteed to pick up the show. The money wasn’t as good, either. TBS, on the other hand, stepped in and offered O’Brien a huge amount of money, ownership rights to his own show (a la David Letterman), and only a four-night a week schedule. The move to TBS will also push back George Lopez’s late-night talk show to midnight (I’m assuming that Conan’s will begin at 11:00, up against “The Daily Show” over on Comedy Central. Eek). Lopez has already shown his support for the move (of course he has: Even an hour later, it will boost his ratings).

The new show will tape in Los Angeles.

“In three months I’ve gone from network television to Twitter to performing live in theaters, and now I’m headed to basic cable,” O’Brien said. “My plan is working perfectly.”

This could change the late-night show dynamics, and extend the competition out into the cable channels. Or it could backfire completely and Conan O’Brien could slowly drift into Craig Kilborn-esque obscurity. The ratings, certainly, won’t be what they could be on Fox or NBC, but the important thing will be: Can it be profitable for TBS? Almost certainly.

(Source: The Wrap)

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.