Conan Is Now “Very Funny”

Posted: April 12, 2010 in Entertainment, Television, Websites
Tags: , , ,

Conan O’Brien sent this tweet on Twitter in the early morning on Monday, April 12, 2010: “the good news: I will be doing a show on TBS starting in November! The bad news: I’ll be playing Rudy on the all new Cosby Show.” At first, I thought it was a joke since the Hollywood Reporter posted an ‘exclusive’ story on their website on Sunday, April 11, 2010. The story stated that ‘talks between Fox and O’Brien’s reps have made significant progress in recent days toward a deal that would bring the late-night host back to broadcast TV.’

Several hours later, the Hollywood Reporter updated its site with the story that TBS had signed Conan O’Brien for a late night comedy show to start this November. The article said that TBS initially was slow to enter the game, but once the network decided to go after O’Brien, it moved quickly.

But Conan was initially was disinterested at the prospect of bumping Lopez, which was too reflective of the NBC drama between himself and Leno. But Lopez called Conan last week to personally ask O’Brien to join the network, offering to shift his show to midnight.

The Hollywood Reporter said that the show will have a strong Web component to capitalize on Conan’s rabid online fan base. (He has over 829,000 followers on Twitter.) There will be original content from his comedy tour online and likely original, online-only clips helping tease his debut.

I think this is a brilliant move for both Conan and TBS. The strategic comedy position that TBS executes is all being ‘very funny,’ and Conan will obviously fit into that position in a big way.  I even saw promotion spots airing on TBS today that stated that Conan was coming to TBS. (Good job, TBS promo team!)

But most of all, I’m happy for Conan. When NBC launched ‘The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien,’ I was working at KCRA 3, the NBC affiliate in Sacramento. Conan made a 20-city promotion tour to visit NBC affiliates across the country, and he came to visit us in Sacramento. His visit lasted for about three and a half hours, and we put him through the ringer – promo shoot, interviews, meetings with the staff and a client party. He was fantastic through every part of the visit: he had a funny/kind/sincere word for everyone he met and was enthusiastic about the complicated promo shoot we had planned (stats are never excited about promo shoots!). But most importantly, I had never seen someone so honored, thrilled and excited to be starting a new television job. His passion for The Tonight Show oozed from every ounce of his being, and everyone at the station was thrilled for him.

When the whole Leno/Conan/NBC deal went south, I felt so bad for Conan and truly hoped that he would find another show that he could be proud of. I truly think that he will be able to do at TBS what he always wanted: to produce a funny show that people liked. I can’t wait to see his new show in November!

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