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.
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