Details of Conan's Shocking TBS Deal Revealed


Your head is probably still spinning from today's announcement that Conan O'Brien will topline a late night talk show on TBS in November, which is shocking because a) Conan and Fox had been dancing the negotiation tango for months and b) Conan O'Brien, former Tonight Show host, is going to TBS. The Time Warner-owned cable channel gave Conan an 11:00 PM position in front of Lopez Tonight (George Lopez has already dubbed the power comedy block "LO-CO"), but what was in the package deal that made it an offer he could not refuse? The LAT provides context:

As part of his deal with Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting to host a late-night show on TBS, O'Brien will have ownership of the show. That will give him the potential to make a lot more money than if he were just a hired hand hosting a show owned by a network. O'Brien's deal is for five years.

A deal between O'Brien's camp and TBS was struck in about 72 hours, according to people involved in the talks.

TBS previously had indicated it was not interested in O'Brien, but Turner Entertainment chief Steve Koonin said in an interview that was in part because "we assumed he had a deal with Fox."

Koonin reached out to O'Brien's team and then went back to his own late-night host, George Lopez, who was also enthusiastic about the idea of bringing Conan to TBS. O'Brien will have his show at 11 p.m., and Lopez will move to midnight. Although Lopez will have a later time period, he also will likely have a bigger lead-in audience.

"We think Conan will, of course, help us attract other talent," Koonin said.

PREVIOUSLY: Shocker: Conan Spurns Fox, Heads to TBS

· Conan O'Brien will own his show as part of five-year deal with TBS [LAT]


  • ib ice says:

    seeeee~~ now we know why ted is soo rich...he knows a good thing when he signs it! 😉

  • Terry says:

    For a guy who quit NBC, then was given a golden parachute, this guys doing alright !

  • No One Important says:

    Looking forward to seeing Lo-Co--also hoping for better grammar 'then' what's posted above from a writer...

  • stev says:

    Didn't this whole thing start because Conan refused to start his show at 11?

  • chris says:

    no he refused to start at 12

  • Jared says:

    No, he refused to start The Tonight Show at 12:05, because tradition generally has it start on 11:35, and he didn't want to break tradtion. This show is not The Tonight Show (thank God. Leno is such a hack), so there is nothing holding the show to a certain time slot.

  • Jake says:

    All this talk about Conan's oppurtunity to make more money thorugh ownership...the guy already walked away with $42 million dollars!!! If he can't live on that....

  • Will says:

    Wow.. Conan kicked Lopez to 12 midnight, but yet Lopez says "what mexican wouldn't want to start later"... or something to that affect. Nope, not in this case. No one wants to start later on TV. Admit it Lopez, Conan kicked you out and poor you has to move to 12.

  • britt says:

    I think the ownership role is less about making more money (which he will, especially if syndicated) and more about having flexibility and control over skits and ideas. NBC owns all of his material from the Tonight who, which really irritated O'brien.