After months of speculation that Conan O’Brien would take his act to the Fox Network, he announced yesterday that he had joined forces with the Turner Broadcasting System. According to the NY Post,
[Initially], Conan O’Brien wouldn’t talk to TBS when execs called last week to ask if he’d bring his show to cable, [because] TBS already had a late-night talk-show host — comedian George Lopez — and O’Brien was the last person on earth who would be part of a power play to push him out.
Then Lopez called Conan and told him not only was he alright with the idea of moving his show to midnight to make room for a new O’Brien show, the whole thing was sort of his idea.
“Lopez didn’t just call,” said Gavin Polone, Conan’s longtime manager, “he worked it.”
Conan tweeted the news yesterday, writing: “The good news: I will be doing a show on TBS starting in November! The bad news: I’ll be playing Rudy on the all new Cosby Show.
So why TBS instead of Fox? The NY Post says,
Fox could not guarantee Conan the two things he wanted most — an 11 o’clock start all over the country and ownership of the new show, as David Letterman has with his CBS show.
More than one third of all Fox stations would not agree to clear time on their schedules for Conan at 11.
TBS essentially gave him everything he asked for, including his existing staff whose salaries he’d been paying out of his own pocket since they were booted from NBC three months ago.
The problem with Conan is that he’s smart, edgy and funny, and the Fox masses are slow, dim-witted and only want to be pandered to. How else do you think the “The Cleveland Show” and “‘Till Death” are still on the air? “Andy Richter Controls the Universe” and “Arrested Development” never even stood a chance, and neither did Conan.
Kicking off his 30-city live tour last night in Oregon to promote the new show:
PHOTO SOURCE: Pacific Coast News