Conan O’Brien to make TBS his new late-night home
AP Television Writer
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 said Monday.
The program will air Mondays through Thursdays at 11 p.m. Eastern, shifting TBS’ “Lopez Tonight,” starring George Lopez, to midnight.
O’Brien quickly fired out a celebratory tweet.
“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,” he posted Monday on Twitter.
The 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.
After giving O’Brien “Tonight,” NBC sought to keep Leno on board with a prime-time show that quickly flopped. An attempt to move O’Brien to a post-midnight slot drew O’Brien’s ire, and he walked away with a $32 million settlement package.
Although that put him in play for other networks, the deal barred him from appearing on TV until September.
TBS is owned by Time Warner Inc.
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