Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Conan Picks TBS

After all the late night drama and speculation, Conan O'Brien has pulled a shocker and has agreed to become a part of the TBS late night lineup. TBS, as in home of the network that is giving Tyler Perry way too much exposure. I can't say it's the last place I expected him to end up, because not once did TBS cross my mind as to where Coco could end up after his rift with NBC. The speculation was that he would likely end up with Fox, but if not them then maybe a premium channel such as Showtime or Starz. But the more I think about it, the more that TBS makes sense for Conan.

The late-night landscape is already a crowded one for the broadcast networks, and I'm not sure how much of the of the ratings Conan would have been able to grab if he did go to Fox. He'd have to go against Letterman, Leno, and to a lesser extent Jimmy Kimmel. If he went to Fox, he'd be on at 10:00pm in some markets, and 10:30pm in others, because of the problem Fox affiliates would have had trying to clear some space for Conan amidst their syndication deals. In some cities, he would end up on MyNetwork TV for the first year because some of those contracts (with shows such as Two and a Half Men, The Office, and Seinfeld) couldn't be broken. There would have never been a clear grasp on how well he was doing, and in some cases it would be too hard to find him.

But on TBS, anything he pulls in ratings wise is going to be a success. His ratings don't necessarily have to be compared to Leno's or Letterman's because the expectations on cable are a whole different ballgame. Any ratings will be good ratings, and Conan is likely to still have a pretty decent following especially with his now cult hero status. But if he would have went to Fox, there would have been enormous pressure on him to beat Jay Leno, something I'm not sure he would have been able to do. Not because he's not better than him as a comic, which he clearly is, but because a lot of Americans have been brainwashed into Leno for some ungodly reason of which I'll never know.

On TBS, he'll basically have the freedom to do whatever he wants according to their executives, which can only be a good thing. Now the irony here is definitely noted, because his timeslot will be 10pm Central, a slot currently occupied by George Lopez on Lopez Tonight. This means that Conan will be kicking someone out of their timeslot, which is how we got into this whole mess in the first place. To that I say a) Lopez is happy about the idea, b) Lopez better be happy about the idea because it will get him more viewers and c) it's just different, so whatever.

Conan's new show will start in November, and I have to say that I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully after all this hoopla people actually watch the guy this time, instead of saying they will and then failing to watch similar to what happened with him on The Tonight Show. If not, then the alternative is that TBS fills that hour with more House of Payne reruns, and we all know how awful that would be.

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