Well, it’s finally over: Conan O’Brien and NBC have put the finishing touches on their deal to get Conan off the network after a decade-plus of the red-headed giant being part of their latenight lineup. Jay Leno’s coming back, Conan’s probably headed elsewhere, and NBC’s about $45 million poorer. Read on for the details, my gentle Examiner readers…
Finally, we can look forward to putting all this nasty “Late Night War” business behind us. Today, the finishing touches were put on Conan’s exit deal from NBC, and it’s not going to come cheap for the network (who, by the way, is struggling in fourth place amongst the top networks on TV).
The story’s just about everywhere, but let’s take a look at Variety.com’s story on the matter, shall we? Here’s what they’re saying about it:
The Peacock confirmed early Thursday morning that it had reached a $45 million exit deal for O’Brien. Now, Jay Leno will resume his “Tonight Show” hosting duties, while O’Brien is leaving the network.
“NBC and Conan O’Brien have reached a resolution of the issues surrounding O’Brien’s contract to host ‘The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien,’ ” NBC and O’Brien said in a joint statement.
“Under terms of an agreement that was signed earlier today, NBC and O’Brien will settle their contractual obligations and the network will release O’Brien from his contract, freeing him to pursue other opportunities after September 1, 2010. O’Brien will make his final appearance as host of ‘The Tonight Show’ on January 22.”
There’s a bit more to this whole ordeal than we might have predicted in the beginning, though: for one thing, Conan’s had a bit of a gag-order placed on him, limiting the amount of mockery he’s allowed to throw NBC’s way. This really, really sucks for fans of the former “Late Night” host, as the material that he’s been pushing ever since this situation reared its ugly head has been some of the funniest stuff that he’s done in years. It’s true what they say: good comedy comes from real pain.
Furthermore, and as we’ve previously reported here, NBC retains the rights to some of Conan’s best bits, stuff like “In The Year 2/3000” and “The Masturbating Bear”. Luckily, Conan’s years on TV have only sharpened him and his writing staff, and there’s no doubt with Conan fans that he’ll be able to produce some solid, new material in the years ahead. It still would be great to see that Bear again, though. As for “Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog”, it sounds like they’re still working out the kinks on that one.
As per usual, you can stay tuned to the Comedy Examiner’s Office for more news on the “Late Night Wars” in the near future. Join everyone else that signed up this week and hit the “Subscribe” button up top to get all the Comedy Examiner’s future articles delivered straight to your email, free of charge, the moment they’re published. Just look at all the stuff you’ve been missing by not already having been signed up:
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