Cold-Hearted NBC Blocks Conan O'Brien's Televised Attempt at Charity
Pop Quiz: You paid Conan O'Brien $44 million in peacock bills so that he'd stop badmouthing your network's good name on-air until September. Coco Nation resents you for ousting their fearless red-headed leader from his 11:35 time slot and beginning April 12, Conan's fans will mobilize for a 30-city comedy tour that will only strengthen anti-NBC sentiment. But another network swoops in and offers you the chance to polish off your image. All you have to do is allow Conan to take part in a live broadcast that will raise millions of dollars for the impoverished. What do you do?
If you're NBC, and Fox offers you the opportunity to dust off your image via their largest programming platform, American Idol, you shut them down immediately.
The invitation was extended by Idol producer 19 Entertainment and would have put O'Brien on Fox's April 21 Idol Gives Back special. Sources close to both networks maintain that the offer was not related to Fox's negotiations to bring Conan to their network for a late night program.
Thankfully for Fox, David Schwimmer and Dr. Phil are available to lip-sync to the Bee Gees again.