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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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91.

Neal    

Conan's boring, NOT funny AT ALL, and lost MILLIONS of viewers. He does NOT appeal to the masses like Leno does and that's why Leno has MILLIONS more viewers than Conan and Leno deserves to get his FULL hour back and he SHOULD!!

1557 days ago
92.

ex lax    

hey jeff # 53 GO PLAY WITH YOUR PEE WEE HERMAN DOLL!

1557 days ago
93.

mr kool    

they both suck

1557 days ago
94.

karma    

I never realized just HOW BAD Leno SUCKED till Kimmel imitated him (and ALL late night went after him last night). I think it very apparent what people think of Jay Leno and NBC. TMZ, starting to act a bit like Fox here, "fair and balanced". not.
I bet when the dust settles we will hear stories of Leno and Zucker manipulated and cya'd behind the scenes. We've already heard Leno do his lame "What's NBC stand for?" joke when he accepted the position at the "The Tonight Show", he said it again the other day when he threaten to go to Fox, why doesn't HE go to Fox? Jay should start stealing more material from other comediennes, like usual.
http://gawker.com/5447086/everybody-loves-conan-all-the-video-clips-from-last-nights-late-night-war

1557 days ago
95.

ex lax    

I do not think so neal# 106 gay leno gave it up an he bombed out.. now nbc want's to try to fix it. I enjoyed the tonight show then watched conan afterwards but gay gave it up so I cheer for conan

1557 days ago
96.

ex lax    

go watch letterman .. he will bang your g/f until he gets caught golfing with tiger woody

1557 days ago
97.

karma    

I do think ole Jay would be dicing and slicing (manipulating) behind the scenes to sabotage Conan anyway he could so he would look the better host and make it look like he was "needed". That was Jay Leno --has always been, always will be...insecure Mr. Doritos Narcissist.

RIP Bill Hicks

1557 days ago
98.

browngirl    

Let them hash it all out on the playground. They are both acting childish. I am just stating my opinion. I will not watch either. Jay has to try so hard to be funny and he is not. Conan is, well just acts stupid. This is my opinion and my opinion only.

1557 days ago
99.

Punkarazzi    

Jay's a better weasel than Conan. It's that simple.

1557 days ago
100.

MiKe    

Who at NBC actually thought conan would do good in that role?, only people who like him are immature kids, and I am 23, his show consists of talking to his band guys and talking about how great the show will be

1557 days ago
101.

karma    

Why did Jay's fans let him and NBC down on his new show at 10pm? What is their excuse, he had this big fan base built up.
Well, there Jay goes again...creating drama and getting great drama arranged for him for the lead-in. How many executives phone calls did he eavesdrop on this time or stars did he threaten to black ball if they went on others' shows? Blame his manager again?

Jay forgot to say what Fox offered HIM, he bragged about going there.

1557 days ago
102.

Just sayin'    

The Tonight Show is always at the same time. Who knew Jay and PMS-NBC would try and take the show away from Conan like a bunch of claim jumpers.
Dirty Whores!!!!

1557 days ago
103.

Just sayin'    

Why the hell can't JAY go to some other network and get his own damn show! Why should Conan have to move to a different time or leave.

YOU LEAVE JAY!!!!!!!

1557 days ago
104.

Just sayin'    

Oh, so now it's Conan's fault for not being able to see the future and know that he would be stabbed in the back?

1557 days ago
105.

poohbunny    

According to some of you, since I prefer Leno, I am an "old" person. Be careful what you dish out--someday you, too, will be 46 and old like me. Instead of having all of this hate, why not leave Conan with the Tonight Show at 11:35, give Leno a show on another network at whatever time he wants, leave everyone else in place, and let each man's fans follow him to wherever he goes? I don't like Conan's humor, but I don't want to take him away from his fans. It seems like this is NBC's fault by being greedy. They wanted Conan for the Tonight Show, but they also wanted Leno to stay at their network because they were afraid of the competition. If they love Conan so much, why be afraid of the competing shows? (I don't mean this as a put down of Conan). NBC REALLY messed up, and I don't know how they can fix it. At this point, if I were Conan or Leno I'd want to get as far away from NBC as possible. Obviously their contracts and promises don't mean much.

1557 days ago
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