NBC released its official statement about Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno and the future of “The Tonight Show.” Yes, we all knew it was coming, but now that it’s official…well, it just seems so final.
The NBC statement says the following about Conan O’Brien:
- “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. 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.”
It also says the following about Jay Leno:
- “NBC confirmed that Jay Leno will return to host The Tonight Show beginning March 1 and Jimmy Fallon will continue to be broadcast at 12:35 a.m.”
“We’re pleased that Jay is returning to host the franchise that he helmed brilliantly and successfully for many years,” said Jeff Gaspin, chairman NBC Universal Television Entertainment. “He is an enormous talent, a consummate professional and one of the hardest-working performers on television.”
What this means is that the late night fiasco is finally over. NBC has agreed to pay Conan O’Brien and his staff a $45 million payout, and O’Brien can return to TV in September of this year. He will need at least that long to organize a new show and hammer out a new contract. Jay Leno gets what he wanted all along, his old helm at “The Tonight Show.” Jimmy Fallon remains untouched by the whole ugly ordeal.
Do you think O’Brien got the short end of the stick? If you answered “yes,” then you’re not alone. O’Brien’s fans have launched an “I’m With CoCo” campaign on Facebook and Twitter, and many took to the streets in protest. The Washington Post reports that Team Conan is organizing more rallies in Los Angeles, Austin, Minneapolis and other cities. There is not a rally currently planned for Atlanta. Some CoCo fans are even planning to boycott all shows on NBC, and promise to write protest letters to corporations that advertise on the network. They are simply enraged at the entire situation and vow to continue their battle long after Conan O’Brien says “good night” one last time this Friday.
Conan O’Brien has two broadcasts left on “The Tonight Show.” Thursday’s guests are Robin Williams and Barry Manilow. Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell and Neil Young will join O’Brien for his very last NBC show on Friday.
Related articles about the programming debacle at NBC:
- Jimmy Kimmel sticks up for Conan O’Brien on ‘The Jay Leno Show’ (video)
- Conan O’Brien likely to say goodbye to NBC next week
- O’Brien draws a line in the sand, Letterman weighs in (video)
- NBC ditches primetime Leno, negotiations continue with O’Brien and Fallon
- Conan O’Brien calls leaving NBC ‘an appealing proposition’
- Jay Leno jokes about future, claims NBC stands for ‘Never Believe your Contract’
- Major changes may be in store for Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon
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