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Leno vs. Conan vs. NBC

The War is On

1/18/2010 9:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Conan O'Brien and NBC are at war ... each accusing the other of bad, bad behavior.

Leno vs. Conan vs. NBC -- The War is On
Sources connected to Conan O'Brien tell TMZ NBC honcho Jeff Zucker has been "nasty, arrogant and threatening" in negotiating Conan's out. The Conan people are outraged, saying the blame for the Jay Leno/'ConanO'Brien/"Tonight Show" debacle falls squarely at Zucker's doorstep.

Jay Leno: Click to watchAn NBC spokesperson tells TMZ, as for claims Zucker has been nasty, arrogant and threatening, "There is absolutely no truth to that. It is easy to make false statements under the cloak of anonymity."

We're told Conan is so pissed off at NBC, he told the network he was leaving even though he still doesn't have a place to go -- at least not yet. Sources say Fox still has not made an offer.

An NBC source connected to the negotiations tells TMZ Conan "has acted like a baby" since the network announced the changes. The source claims NBC made $25 mil in profits off "The Tonight Show" the last full calendar year Leno hosted. The source says the projected loss for 2010 had Conan stayed put was $3 - 5 million. So NBC says it's simple math.

We're told the NBC/Conan deal still isn't finalized.

233 COMMENTS

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31.

ROCKSTAR    

SOUNDS LIKE WE WILL BE VOTING NOVEMBER 7TH TO FIND THE WINNER,,, JUST THINKING OUT LOUD........

1679 days ago
32.

MY EYES!!!    

musicpm's right

TMZ, we're allowed to spell horribly and have poor grammar - we're trolls. You, on the other hand, are trying to be taken seriously as a news resource.

Hire a proofreader, please.

1679 days ago
33.

Rocky    

Conan's rating have been low since 2008 when he had trouble beating Fergussen.

1679 days ago
34.

Jennifer    

Of course Jay's ratings were great the last year he was on -- people wanted to tune in for his final shows. A new show always takes time to build viewership. Plus, Jay had great lead ins, whereas Conan only had Jay's failed show. If Jay was so great, why did his 10 o'clock show FAIL? How stupid do they think we are?

1679 days ago
35.

twilightmom    

Truthfully, I'd much rather watch "Chelsea Lately" every night @ 11 on E!
Chelsea Handler is WAY funnier than either of these poor guys! She's a riot, and Chewy (the "little nugget) is cute and funny as well!

1679 days ago
36.

shannon2    

Oh, dude. The NBC guys are so pathetic they have paid staff posting on TMZ and other sites to make Conan look bad. Even on a newer post like this look back at some of the multiple posting douches and how similar their points are over and over.

The cynicism that we are so retarded is offensive. I'll never watch anything on NBC again, and if Comcast doesn't clean house they're just buying a cesspool pit managed by the turds.

1679 days ago
37.

Laughing    

None of the NBC affiliates were demanding that Conan be removed from the air - only Jay Leno. They forced NBC's hand. I don't know how anyone figures this is all Conan's fault when he wasn't the problem. The suits at NBC know this too - especially Zucker. Trying to say all this shuffling was because of Conan now is just making him look even more stupid!

1679 days ago
38.

Freelols.com    

Can we please get this national nightmare over with and move on to bigger and better things, like whether Kate Gosselin should dump the extensions and go back with the reverse mullet???

1679 days ago
39.

Ray    

Wherever Conan Goes, We will be watching him, my one hope is, that Conan has his cousin Dennis Leary as comic at least once a week to trash NBC and Zucker. Conan wont have to say a word, but he sure can write the material. ;)

1679 days ago
40.

J    

So.... Leno made a bunch of money while Conan somehow lost a bunch of money?

I see now what happened to Enron's accountants- they moved over to NBC......

1679 days ago
41.

oinka    

This is my observation of the mess.
Conan's audience is clearly the 18-35 yr old crowd. His humor and skits have attracted a younger audience since day one he started at NBC. His late night timeslot worked for him because that age group can stay up longer, yet still go to work. Conan also attracts the college crowd. However, his late night ratings were starting to slip toward the mid to late 2008 because of competition ie. Fergurson and technology ie internet viewing of taped shows, video games (WOW) etc. His audience was waning.

When Conan took over TTS, I watched his first week to see what new stuff he would bring in. I was delighted to see Andy back. In the early years of Conan, I thought they worked well together. However the rest of his format was really the same old same old stupid silly crap. As for an interviewer, I think Conan is one of the worst. Seriously, I think Conan would fall apart if he had the opportunity to interview a standing President of the USA like Leno did with Obama.

Conan O'Brien did not adjust his humor, show etc for the new demographic the Tonight Show supports. He can talk about primetime lead in shows, etc.....sorry, you cannot blame it all on that. If you have a hot product, it will draw an audience. Johnny Carson hosted the Tonight Show for 2 decades plus and he was funny, creative and a great interviewer. He stood on his own merits and when a monologue failed he acknowledged it. There have been many lead in crappy shows before Carson's Tonight Show but people would still turn on the TV just to watch him at 11:30pm. He was funny to all age groups.

So Conan, good luck with your career and where it takes you. Look at this as a learning experience.

1679 days ago
42.

Jerome Mayle    

BOTTOM LINE IS : Conan lost alot of Jay's audience because Conan remained edgy, where as Jay is so middle of the road his comedy became bland. Jay's show catered toward an "OLDER" crowd, not that this was bad, but it was the same reason they edged Carson out, I think 50% of jays audience has to be over 50, do you really think these people get a talking dog puppet who hurls insults. My question is this, when Conan get's on Fox, between Jay, Conan and Dave...who will the stars go to first, I mean HONESTLY if your Will Smith, Tom Cruise or whoever.. do you really think Jay's crusty audience is going to go see your BIG BUDGET popcorn flick? NO!! So why the hell would you waste your time promoting it on his show...I get mad at Jay because - like Saturday night live his show has just been running on auto pilot FOR YEARS!!!! Jay is funny...but he hasn't been doing his best in a while. I also find it funny that all of a sudden David Letterman is GREAT - Yet when Jays show was number one David was an after thought...NOW HE'S WONDERFUL...everybody loves him...and lets not forget it took close to 2 YEARS for Leno to beat Letterman, AND 2 YEARS IS ALOT LONGER THAN 7 MONTHS

1679 days ago
43.

janicebyrne01    

Get rid of them both. They're both old has-beens, Get a new face. a new voice. It'll be refreshing for EVERYONE, especially the public. Maybe try a few "guest " presenters for a few weeks each and let the voting public decide who they want on a permanent basis.

1679 days ago
44.

oinka    

Conan will die on Fox.

I seriously doubt that will happen.

CBS has the new gem, and Craig Fergerson should be moved against Leno and Letterman. Craig is damn funny, creative and entertaining.

1679 days ago
45.

david    

ADAM SANBERG FOR LATE NIGHT,,,,YOU NBC IDIOTS NEED NEW BLOOD....HE IS THE COMEDIAN ALL THE GEN X, GEN Y, BLAH BLAH TALK ABOUT

1679 days ago
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