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Conan's Royal Screw Up

1/13/2010 10:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Conan O'Brien may have a claim against NBC, but not because the network wanted to move his show to 12:05 AM.



We're now told Conan's contract never specified a guaranteed time period. If NBC wanted to run the show at 3:00 AM, Conan would have no recourse. We're told Conan's reps never even asked for a guaranteed time period when they negotiated his contract -- shocking, but true.

By contrast, we're told Jay Leno's deal specifically guarantees his 10:00 PM time period, so the network must negotiate a new deal with him before he moves back to 11:35 PM.

NBC did guarantee that Conan would host "The Tonight Show," and the network has been willing to make good on that promise.

As for Conan's legal position, his claim is a lot more tenuous than first reported to us. We're told Conan is arguing -- given the history of "The Tonight Show" -- there is an "implied" guarantee the show would begin at 11:35. Our sources say Conan's people met with NBC execs yesterday afternoon ... presumably to negotiate a settlement and an out.

Some of the high level people who oversee "The Tonight Show" are saying Conan has himself to blame -- at least in part -- for his failure. They say he refused to take notes from his bosses, saying "I do what I do."

207 COMMENTS

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1.

Ana    

Conan and his staff are getting screwed for someone elses mistakes. its a b**ch, yeah... but thats the true. now what? hes left trying to fix something that wasnt his doing to begin with... COME ON!!! give me a f**king break. it would be like me being blamed for someone that i dont know shooting another person i dont know. THIS IS REDICULOUS!!! Conan has nothing to do with Zuckers mistakes

1678 days ago
2.

linda    

i miss Conan. Jay should have bowed out gracefully. I've never watch Jay and can hardly wait for Conan to start his new show on a channel that will treat him right! Jat sucks.

1623 days ago
3.

tyrtujhtygjfgx    

Who cares? Never seen the show.Looks boring.

1684 days ago
4.

Ann    

Conan sucks, it will be good to see him go. Jay rules. Conan's humor is way too contrived.

1684 days ago
5.

V-DAWG    

If the Tonight Show airs at 12:05 A.M.; wouldn't that technically be the Tomorrow Show?

1684 days ago
6.

Daniii    

Conan- it sucks for you yes, I feel bad for your employees, but the fact still remains that YOU lost over 2 million viewers when you replaced Jay Leno. You have yet to get them back.

1684 days ago
7.

Simone    

VIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1684 days ago
8.

No trailer trash    

Hahahaah.... Seems Conan's reps are as piss poor at negotiating contracts as Conan is at humor. A 1st year law student would have known enough to require a guaranteed time slot.

Buh-bye Conan. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out (and next time, try finding a contract lawyer somewhere other than on the back of a Cracker Jack box, ok?)

1684 days ago
9.

He Hate Me    

sad but true...Conan's representation really did fail him. not only did they fail to specify a time slot, but they also failed to include a "Leno Non-Compete" clause in the contract for a period of 2-3 years. at the time NBC offered Conan the show, Conan had the upper hand and NBC wouldve easily agreed to keep Leno off the air for 2 years while Conan built an audience of his own. too late. good guys finish last. Conan is a good guy so he naturally surrounded himself with advisers that are likely also good people...too bad he needed a pitbull to deal with the snakes at NBC...

1684 days ago
10.

whatever    

Oh my...what a mess.

1684 days ago
11.

GTLT    

For that kind of money, and you know what time they tape, I'd go on and read a the readers digest.

1684 days ago
12.

Waylon Jennings Bryan    

Tenious my ass. "The Tonight Show" has aired in the same time slot for SIXTY YEARS. It's one of the longest running shows on television. Stop ten people on the street, and all 10 will tell you that The Tonight Show comes on right after the late local news. NONE of this would be lost on any judge. Conan's position here quite strong.

1684 days ago
13.

Paparazzo@frog.cc    

Conan is not funny. He had a shot at the bat and failed. Take a sh*t or get off the pot, Conan.

1684 days ago
14.

SebastianCanada    

What a comedy of errors, and the only laugh those two vanilla goons have given me in the last several years.

1684 days ago
15.

PolarBear    

This is a minor thing. NBC is the screwup, creating a total confusion and fiasco around their shows and hosts, they are alienating everyone and creating antagonistic nonsense. If they are doing that deliberately, they are desperados with their backs against the wall. Their original fumbling of moving show times around and then reacting to confuse Jay and Conan and the show times proves they can't handle big time entertainment. Conan still wins here. Conan will have his mass of fans regardless of where he lands. He doesn't need NBC now.

1684 days ago
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