Skip to comments.Conan O’Brien Says He Won’t Do ‘Tonight Show’ Following Leno
Posted on 01/12/2010 12:28:04 PM PST by Beaten Valve
Conan OBrien says he will not do The Tonight Show if it airs at 12:05 a.m. He released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
People of Earth:
In the last few days, Ive been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, Ive been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, Ive been absurdly lucky. That said, Ive been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.
Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.
(excerpt of full announcement)
(Excerpt) Read more at mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com ...
Good riddance. The Tonight Show has blown goats since Conan took over.
that statement shows a guy whose head is screwed-on remarkably straight for a showbiz type
“Good riddance. The Tonight Show has blown goats since Conan took over.”
He really was baaaaaaad.
I stopped watching after Carson left
Lots of people grew up watching Carson. I did. Carson was the King of Late Night TV. You ain’t worthy enough to walk in his shoes let alone sit in his chair you unfunny sap.
One has to laugh at Jeff Zucker who initiated this transition from Jay Leno to Conan O’Brien with the specific intent of avoiding the Jay Vs. Dave war of the early 90s. Now he has Jay Vs. Conan and both Vs. NBC. Good work, Zucker!
yeah i gave leno a chance first night or two but he was just so BORING
Carson was the best that is for sure
Does Conan plan to return to his home planet?
Zucker only has the job because he’s an Obamabot.
The entire statement is a must-read.
Very eloquent, standing up for Fallon (who isn’t funny at all, but that isn’t the point) and his staff.
Very impressive and eloquent, though I am sure he didn’t write it himself.
I only watched his show a few times, but I am impressed.
Conan will be offered a spot late night on Fox.
It’s a good letter, and it sure makes NBC look bad, which is fine with me.
I haven’t really watched the Tonight Show since Johnny Carson left, and I didn’t watch it much then, either. So, I don’t know which of these guys is worse, Leno or Conan. I presume they must both be pretty bad, or they wouldn’t be on NBC.
So, which of them should we be cheering for—not that it matters, but just curious.
Conan showed real class here. If Leno had an ounce of integrity he would be the one to fall on the sword....but he has no class.
This is what happens when you’ve got an Obama worshiper like Jeff Zucker running NBC.
He drove it right off the cliff...
Comcast should fire Zucker and any other moron who makes these idiotic programming decisions like loading the schedule down with reality crap no one watches and putting a late night talk show in primetime. And then start over with a clean slate, once they take over that sinking ship called NBC.
As soon as Comcast takes full control of NBC there’s going to be execs flying like bowling pins in the national championships. Jeff Zucker “the genius” is responsible for this mess and he needs to go away. He took a highly successful show and moved it earlier and made it terrible not to mention what he did to the affiliates. Maybe they should drug test this guy when he comes to work everyday. Maybe Obama will hire him, he’s the kind of idiot the Prez likes. Change that makes no sense.
Yep, his letter is total class.
I hope he sues GE/NBC for everything they're worth.
He's been patiently waiting for this gig since 2003 (when he signed the contract) and it was Jeff Zucker who screwed it up (and quite recently, I might add), not Jay or Conan.
Conan had no say in whether Leno got a show at 10PM ET.
Zucker thought that was a good idea.
Turned out to be a HORRIBLE idea.
So can't blame Conan there.
BTW, I haven't watched late night TV in years, but Conan has good reason to be ticked and pursue legal action.
I stopped watching after Carson left
Me too : (
Also to fill the non-male male status their looking for.
And why is that?
I think I know, but I 'd like to hear another opinion.
I’m impressed, too. Some of his bits were pretty funny....Triumph, In the Year..., and he took Andy Richter (?) back like the stray mutt he is.
That time slot on NBC was just not Conan’s best choice of venue for his gig and his audience. His audience is younger folks who are over watching Jon Stewart and Colbert. I don’t care for the guy because I’m too old to “get” the sort of nerdy, geeky stuff he does, but the late teen and early 20s crowd likes it well enough, but they ain’t coming over to a newtwork dinosaur slot while these other guys are on over at Comedy Cental. The demographic moved on him.
I stopped watching after Parr left...............
I grew up watching Carson, too. Used to watch Letterman when he was young and brash (though really, his show was sort of a knock-off of Steve Allen's Tonight Show).
I don't find these hosts funny, and I don't care to see guests promoting their latest POS movies, so I just don't care what happens with the Tonight show.
What you say is true.
That was my impression as well.
Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; its always been that way.LOL
Actually, Leno and O’Brien have both shown real class. Leno has said all along he works at the pleasure of the network, and if he gets canned, he gets canned.
NBC has finally screwed themselves permanently. Zucker gets to wear this epic failure by himself. The man never once thought about going after the other 52% of the population that wasn’t socialist. That is very bad marketing.
The real villains are the programming executives that make these idiotic decisions in the first place. Jeff Zucker needs to go since he orchestrated this mess in the first place. Putting Leno in primetime was his decision. Leno was actually in first until Zucker fooled around with the program schedule.
I think he is wrong on both counts:
DVRing is killing local stations and networks. Who wants to
pay for ads that no one is watching?
The late news use to be nice to put on but if I want the
news/weather, I just look at it online.
Demographics are also driving things. The average US age is
now 52 and getting older. I think this was the original idea
for moving Leno to 10:00pm, so he could be on before the bed time of the average American.
My prediction is that in the next two years we will see
half of the local stations go under, and the networks will
be dwindled down to 2 major networks. One liberal and one conservative.
Ultimately, I think Leno should take the long walk, but NBC wants to keep both off other networks. Good luck with that.
Conan is a worthless talent with no other outlet to showcase his worthless worth but there....he'll take what he's offered and like it....just blustering for a bigger paycheck, that's all...
I always liked Conan. His performance was hilarious. I advise anyone to watch it on youtube, he was pulling some punches towards NBC. He isn’t always funny, and I knew this move would fail, but that is mostly due to NBC.
“It puts the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again”
“He really was baaaaaaad.”
That reminds me of a joke with the following punchline:
“That’s my daaaaaaaaad.”
What did Leno do wrong?
He has nothing to do with it.
If Zucker was a good leader and visionary like many in the industry say, he would have told Jay that him doing a show at 10PM was a bad idea for BOTH him and Conan, and reject everything associated with doing such a thing, and then none of this would have happened.
Your comment would be valid if NBC ran itself.
But the senior management has to be held responsible here, not the hosts.
Don't let the door hit you in the @ss on your way out.
In times like these, human beings are hardly in the position to say "do as I say, or else I am gone."
What an idiot and a jerk.
Maybe he can get a job selling hot dogs on the side of the street.
And your still alive God Bless oyu
Nikki Finke weighs in.
HELL NO! Conan O’Brien Refusing To Delay ‘Tonight Show’; What Does NBC Do Now?
Carson was superb, Jay was tolerable and at times funny, but Conan sucked. Big time sucked. Not funny at all, and he never looked very comfortable doing it.
Leno was doing well in Carson’s slot. NBC should have left well enough alone.
That was the intial idea of the move, but as you pointed out, it's the DVR that killed the idea. Recent studies have shown that the 10pm hour is typically the hour most people who have DVR's are either watching something they recorded earlier that evening or earlier that week.
About the only shows I ever DVR are Glenn Beck or Red Eye. There's nothing good on network TV these days anyway.
Which is why I wouldn't watch any of these shows in the first place.
Leibowitz, Colbert and O'Brien are key reasons why my entire generation is a bunch of snide, arrogant narcissists.
i like Conan O’B... and i am glad he has responded the way he has... how silly of NBC to think moving Jay’s sorry show to an earlier time slot will save it... it’s not a good show...
Never really cared for any of them since Johnny, but, this includes a very classy letter from Conan. He gets it.
Conan O’Brien was a writer for “The Simpsons” for a number of years.
The way I see it is this, Leno knew the deal NBC had with Conan to take over the tonight show. He wanted to stay on TV so he took another time slot. NBC doesn’t like the ratings its getting so they decide to screw Conan and screw Fallon as well (after only 7 months)...Leno has no problem with it, Conan does. Lack of class to me.