Will Fox Announce a New Conan O'Brien Show on May 17?


Ever since Conan O'Brien reopened negotiations with Fox (which briefly led to a planned appearance at Idol Gives Back), rumors have flown fast and furious that the network is set to announce a deal with the funnyman on May 17. How much of that is fact and how much of it is simply conjecture? Here's what we know and what we don't:


· O'Brien is in negotiations with Fox again, as talks resumed this week after two weeks away from table. One important sticking point is whether Fox affiliates will step away from lucrative syndicated programming for a late-night talk show.

· O'Brien is still entertaining non-Fox offers, such as a syndicated show.

· O'Brien has a spot open in his touring schedule on May 17, the date of Fox's upfront. However...

· "To the best of my knowledge, no pressure has been asserted on any Fox affiliates [by the network]," Fox affiliates chairman Brian Brady said today. "There's nothing definitive on Conan right now. If Fox decides to do something, they'll weigh in with [the board]...Conan doesn't seem to be on the front burner. If it was, I'd be hearing about it."


· How far along would talks have to get before Fox would notify affiliates? Let's not forget that NBC wasn't exactly forthcoming with information when the network put Jay Leno on at 10 -- in fact, some affiliates openly rebelled against the idea when it was announced.

· Might affiliates know more than they're letting on? A few days before running Brady's quote, Broadcast Newsroom cited anonymous sources who said that plans to draft O'Brien are further along than people think.

· What if United States of Tara star John Corbett is the secret source? Dude can't be trusted.

Fox Affils Chair: No News On Conan [Broadcast Newsroom]


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