January 20, 2010

Conan $40 million!

NBC's disastrous nighttime schedule is finally ready to change now, as the netwrk has reportedly agreed to pay Conan O-'Brien $40 million dollars to move on. The agreement will prohibit Conan from speaking badly of his former employers, but does allow him to seek out a show on another channel without a long wait in between, as some agreements due with a no-compete clause.

The network has been reeling from its decision to put Conan at 11:30 and Jay Leno at 10, with low ratings all around. So they were forced to make desperate backtracking moves, with the end result that the viewers are gone and the talent is disgruntled. Once this controversy is resolved, will any viewers come back? Another plain old Jay Leno show at 11:30 just seems weird, at this point, IMO. Like your ex-husband knocking on your door to sleep over.

Many inckluding Howard Stern say they think Conan is making out like a bandit in this deal, despite all the hype making him out to be the victim. He was doing terribly in the ratings since they moved him to 11:35, and this turn of events allows him to leave as a hero and martyr instead of as a failure which is what would have happened otherwise. And Conan should have known, when he and NBC agreed in 2004 to basically oust Jay Leno six year later, that Jay wouldn't really be readyt to retire at that time, and the transition would be messy one way or another. I love Conan and was always a fan of his show but I don't see him has the poor wronged victim here quite as much as some others. Zucker and the NBC execs are clearly the villains/losers of it all though.

Conan: $40 Million

Conan O'Brien is close to signing a nearly $40 million deal to walk away from his dream job hosting NBC's "The Tonight Show," bringing down the curtain on one of the entertainment industry's biggest debacles in years. The comedian's exit agreement, which could be completed as early as Tuesday, bars Mr. O'Brien from bad-mouthing his former NBC bosses, according to people familiar with the matter, but paves the way for him to land another television gig within a year...

Conan & $40 million

Posted at January 20, 2010 4:23 PM