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NBC to Conan O'Brien -- The Choice Is Yours

1/8/2010 9:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

NBC has given Conan O'Brien the option to either do his show from midnight to 1 or leave the network, sources tell TMZ.

Conan Obrien and Jay Leno

As TMZ first reported, after the Olympics, Jay Leno will get his 11:30 PM time period back. We're told network execs have told Conan they will let him decide if he wants the midnight to 1:00 AM time slot. If he does, Leno's show will only be a half hour. If Conan walks, Leno will get a full hour, informed sources tell TMZ.

Our sources say Conan has not decided what he wants. We do know he's pissed, because he was given no advanced warning this was coming. Conan's people told NBC they are considering the offer. Translation: Mr. O'Brien -- I have Rupert Murdoch on line one, Stephen McPherson on line two, John Landgraf on line three, Jeff Wachtel on line four ...

We're told if Conan gets another offer, even though NBC could block the move, they will let him go and give Leno the full hour.

jay leno click to watch:Stay tuned ...


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#88, #89, #90... Jadakiss?

Uh, to the brain-cell challenged person who put together the petition... nice try, your heart is in the right place, but your execution sucks slimey snail balls.
Channel 4 has nothing to do with it. It's NBC, the corporation itself, that's running this. Channel 4 is just an affilliate who airs the feeds.

1647 days ago

Smooth Criminals    

Ry, you're full of it.

HOLLYWOOD - TV presenter David Letterman's pay deal with his talk show's striking writers couldn't save him from a ratings beating at the hands of rival Jay Leno.

Both shows returned to the air on Wednesday night after two months away while members of the Writers Guild of America picketed producers for better contracts.

Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, secured a deal with writers ahead of this week's shows, while Leno's writers are still out in the cold. But even without a team of comedians behind him, Leno's NBC show still secured almost two million more viewers than his rival on CBS.

According to early ratings, 7.2 million viewers tuned into The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and 5.5 million watched The Late Show with David Letterman.

Both shows recorded higher figures than before the strike. Leno has consistently beaten Letterman in the ratings for the past 14 years.

1647 days ago


Let's face it .... Conan's ratings were awful! Letterman beat him, Jimmy Kimmel beat him (because he's much funnier than Conan)and even Nightline beat him! He was last. Which of those networks do you think is going to offer him a job doing his Sophomoric late-night show, against Jay Leno?

1647 days ago


Conan should leave, then NBC will be screwed. Fallon is better with comedy sketches (love Real Houswives of Late Night), so he should get his own sit-com or something on another network and NBC will be doubly screwed.

1647 days ago


hey gi gi, is that why carson never went on leno and why carson fed letterman jokes? i have a name for you HELEN KUSHNICK. get your facts straight.

1647 days ago


hey smooth criminals, check the early ratings of the late show against the tonight show. letterman was beating leno. UP until hugh grant made his appearance after getting caught with his pants down. we're not talking about recent ratings. go to the beginning. the point is early on leno wasnt doing well but nbc gave him a chance. they should give conan the same chance.

btw carson hated leno and kushnick's guts that's why he fed letterman jokes to stick it into leno. the guy's really a jerk.

1647 days ago

Smooth Criminals    

Apples and oranges, Ry.

Letterman had a talk show prior to going to CBS. Jay didn't, so Letterman had a built in audience at first. Jay didn't.

Conan already had an audience when he took over the Tonight Show. He had an advantage that Jay didn't when he took over and Conan couldn't cut it.

1647 days ago

b. posey    

what is wrong with you people? Don't you read? Jay was asked to leave. He was not ready he was still young in his 50s. He was considering all options.
NBC did not want to lose him so they came up with the 10:00 show.
If NBC loses Jay Leno they are so crazy he is so funny,writes his material,looks professional. His show is so funny I Luv it!
He did a lot of free shows in Detroit and etc. He pays it forward. What do you do?

1647 days ago

Mary Worth    

Jay Leno is so lacking in talent. But old people apparently like that. They need relaxation before they go to sleep. Not a time for stress. Jay Leno's lack of talent relaxes them as they prepare for bed.

Besides, Jay Leno needs a fleet of new cars!

1647 days ago


I love jay leno. I hope they fire the retard who put connan o stupid up there in the spot of real comedians. YES! Hey connan is about as funny as having bad diareah in a bus across country. connan is so ugly he made a train take a dirt road. connan is not funny. OK!

1647 days ago


Welcome back Jay Leno. Good bye Connan O,not funny o.

1647 days ago

Sad sad    

Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan Conan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1647 days ago


It's truly shocking how many of you all have comments about this, yet don't know a f*cking thing about what really went on.

1. Leno announced his RETIREMENT 5-6 years ago, and HE was the one who picked (or at least supported) Conan to take over. He said right on his show that he was handing the Tonight Show to Conan specifically to avoid the same kind of drama that happened between him & Letterman back when Carson retired, and even said multiple times that "16 years was enough".

2. Leno is the one who changed his tune about retiring, but when NBC said "too bad, Conan's locked in", he started spinning it like NBC were forcing him out. And that was total BS.

3. After Leno essentially threatened NBC that he'd be firing up an all new talk show on a rival network to go head-to-head against his so-called "friend" Conan, NBC panicked and inked this new hair brained deal with him at the last minute.

4. Not only did Leno single-handedly kill off whatever was left of that NBC deathtrap (aka the network that cancels EVERYTHING within 2-8 weeks), he also more or less stuck it to Conan by stealing all of his thunder AND a lot of potential audience. Instead of having the class to bow out and leave gracefully, he chose to put his own attention mongering interests first regardless of how bad it's making him look and regardless of how much it's screwing over his "friend" Conan.

I never liked Leno's old person comedy, but I respected him as a person. But that all changed once he started pulling all of this sh*t that he is now, and it puts an all new light on what kind of weasel he probably was back when battling Letterman for the Tonight Show. And I have a feeling people like Conan (and Letterman of course) are very aware of his tactics. Even during Conan's big farewell speech when he finished Late Night, he thanked Letterman FIRST and the MOST. And I'll bet a million bucks that he & Letterman have been having many conversations about this since Conan is now the second guy to get screwed by Leno's self serving "it's just business" ways.

The real scary part is that this could all end up being for nothing since there is NO 100% guarantee that Leno will get back the audience he used to have if he takes over 11:30 again. So he might still get cancelled while Conan AND Fallon get royally screwed in the process.

Regardless of if Conan stays at NBC or not, this must be seriously humiliating. To LOSE the Tonight Show after 5 years of build-up and only a year (or less) of helming it. And poor Fallon (who is doing AWESOME as the new Late Night host) just has to sit back and deal with whatever the fallout ends up being.

Bottom line is that the undeniable common theme cancer in all of this Leno. He should have never been given a new show on NBC, especially not one that leads into Conan, and he should not be allowed to disrupt the network AND so many other people's lives right now. Because if there is one thing that Leno is NOT, it's a comic genius worth fighting for. It's entirely too much power for one guy of such low comedic (and moral) calibre and I hope this massively backfires (again) on NBC. It would also be nice to finally hear Conan quit biting his tongue about this BS and just tell people what we all know he is thinking: that Leno has screwed him over in every sense of the word.

1647 days ago


I remember Johnny Carson and he was good for his time. I do love Jay Leno and feel he is the ONE! Connan is stupid funny ,he is so dumb you have to laugh at him once in awhile. Jay puts his heart and soul in his work and you can se it. Connan can go back to acting again and he was better there . The folks that messed this all up knew this was wrong to take Jay out of that spot from the word go. The BIG BOYS should have left well enough alone back a year or so ago. Really.

1647 days ago
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