Conan Pushes Back: Now What?
Read Conan O’Brien’s statement. He’s pushing back at NBC. He’s not leaving. He just won’t do the “Tonight Show” at 12:05 a.m.
What did I tell you yesterday? “The Tonight Show” has aired at 11:30 p.m. or 11:35 p.m. since 1954. Conan’s right, essentially.
Is it a legal joust? Probably. He’s not quitting. He just won’t do what’s in violation of his agreement.
So now what? A Conan insider responded with these words: “Don’t know.” And they mean it. No one knows what the next move is’ for either Conan or Jay Leno.
What could Conan do at NBC? Primetime? Switch him with Jay? That’s not going to happen. And so even though Conan says he has no plans, the odds are now that he’ll leave NBC for Fox or whatever. I just hope he comes back to New York. His value is lost on the Left Coast.
One thing’s certain, though: Dave Letterman is having a ball. His monologue last night was brilliant. And his imitation of Jay was absolutely brilliant. So all is not lost. Yet.
THR’s James Hibberd on what’s wrong with Conan’s statement
THR Esq.: Parsing the legal ramifications of the Conan/Leno madness