Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Well, I cannot say I am surprised by this latest development. Conan O'Brien has flatly refused to go along with NBC's goofy plan to shift The Tonight Show to 12:05 am following Jay Leno's show.

You can read his letter on the subject here at TMZ, but there's no question about it: Conan sure sounds like a guy who feels like he is getting The Late Shaft.

For the record, Conan says he has no offers yet, which seems to back up what we hear about the folks from Fox describing their conversations with Conan as more of "commiseration" more than offer-making.

Also, for the record, Conan never actually says he is leaving The Tonight Show. I think what he actually wants is to somehow stay at The Tonight Show in its current timeslot if NBC will let him do that. All he says is he won't go along with a move to 12:05 am. He does say a move to 12:05 am will destroy The Tonight Show and I agree. This show has immediately  followed the late local news for as long as anyone can remember.

Based on what we are hearing, NBC seems hell bent on pushing Conan out of the 11:35 pm spot no matter what. Jay Leno seems likely to get The Tonight Show back at 11:35 for a full hour, and they will forget all about the last seven train-wreck months at NBC in late night.

Anyway I am very happy to see Conan refuse to cave in and refuse to accept this humiliation by this network. Way to go, Conan!  

The other news is that it sure looks like Carson Daly, who helms the worst show in late night at 1:35 am, will probably not be cancelled now. Wooeee!!!

UPDATE: Here is Nikki Finke with the latest on this mess. Her read of the "Conan letter" is exactly right. This is not Conan leaving NBC, it's Conan declaring war on NBC. Big difference.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here is what the late-night comedians are saying about this mess on TV.

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