NEW YORK - Late-night mainstay Conan O'Brien is headed to TBS to resume his comedic duties with a talk show expected to debut in November, the network says.
The program will air Mondays through Thursdays at 11 p.m. Eastern, shifting TBS' "Lopez Tonight," starring George Lopez, to midnight.
Monday's surprise announcement hit the same day O'Brien starts a two-month, nationwide comedy tour in Eugene, Ore., amid persistent reports that he was likely to claim Fox as his new late-night home.
Barring Fox, syndication was widely considered O'Brien's most likely option. Few if anyone mentioned TBS as a plausible destination.
O'Brien began serious talks with TBS just last week, the network said.
"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 in a tongue-in-cheek-toned statement. "My plan is working perfectly."
O'Brien left NBC in January after hosting "The Tonight Show" for just eight months, as his ratings plunged from those of his longtime "Tonight" predecessor, Jay Leno, who reclaimed the hour. Until last June, O'Brien had followed Leno as host of "Late Night" since 1993.
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O’Brien's parting deal bars him from appearing on TV until September.
Last Edit: Apr 12, 2010 13:48:19 GMT -5 by Deleted
While TBS is a tad underwhelming its probably not as big a drop as it seems in these days of cable's increased presence as networks like USA and FX are pulling off.
It does amuse me that he'll be pushing George Lopez back. Its obviously not the same thing. Conan never had a handshake agreement with Lopez and Lopez doesn't have the foundation and resume Conan has and may actually benefit from following Conan instead of... uh... Tyler Perry's House of Pain? Law and Order reruns?
I eagerly anticipate the million Conan commercials I will see in October during the MLB playoffs.
i could care less about "cable's presence." i have NBC, i have fox, i have TBS, so it's all the same to me. what i do look forward to is the increased freedom conan no doubt has on TBS over a broadcast network. (and it's a 1/2 hour earlier)
Is TBS really that much "freeier"? I mean, cable over broadcast, sure, but individual cable channels have their own standards and TBS has never really been an edgy station has it? If this were FX I'd see your point but with TBS I almost wonder if the lower profile will hurt him more than the looser reigns will help.
And when I speak of cable vs broadcast I really just mean in terms of overall coverage and, perhaps more importantly, prestige when it comes to booking guests. Especially if Lena/NBC decide to play some games and force celebrities to choose. Then again Conan's claim to fame has always been his own comedy work so that too might be moot.
free and edgey aren't necessarily the same thing. but TBS has thrown the random "bullshit" into some of their shows, so they're not completely opposed to such things. and if the maker of "my boys" is able to do that, then CONAN O'BRIEN will be to do whatever he wants.
and i think after all these years conan's people will have the relationships with the agents and whatnots to get whatever guests they ever would've.
again though, i don't care about any of this. as long as conan is on my TV i'm happy.