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Conan O'Brien

Scores $32.5 Mil

from NBC

1/19/2010 12:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Conan O'Brien, The Tonight ShowConan O'Brien is losing "The Tonight Show" but he'll be getting a $32.5 million consolation prize courtesy of NBC ... sources tell TMZ.

In return, we've learned Conan has agreed to sit on the bench until September. Translation -- he can't host another show until the fall.

In addition to the $32.5 mil, we've learned NBC is also paying severance to Conan's "Tonight Show" employees. In all, we're told NBC's payout is around $40 million.

But Conan probably won't see close to the $32.5 mil. Under the deal, any money Conan makes during the remaining contract period with NBC will offset the network's obligation. So, if Fox were to make a deal with Conan and pay him $25 mil during the NBC contract period, Conan would only score $7.5 mil from NBC.

One well-placed NBC source told us something surprising -- looks like NBC may keep its intellectual property rights. So Conan can't take his creations -- such as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and the Masturbating Bear -- to his next gig.

We're told the Conan/NBC deal still isn't completely done, but it's very close.

168 COMMENTS

No Avatar
76.

Laine Zane    

I'm sad Triumph won't go with Conan. Love that dog. However, Conan rules and hope he gets more respect and $ from his new employer. Love Coco!

1648 days ago
77.

Bettsie    

Who looks at Letterman, Leno, or Conan. They are not funny. Most people who have a job to go to in the morning don't bother with their crapp s--t.

1648 days ago
78.

Zorch    

I don't know if Fox is the best place for Conan
or if the Fox affiliates will want to give up
their lucrative deals with the re-run distributors.


Conan should go on Comedy Central after the Daily Show
and Colbert. Best lead in possible. That's where his
audience demographic is.

1648 days ago
79.

Cynthia    

Conan should sit on his butt and not do a thing until NBC has to pay him the entire amount.

1648 days ago
80.

Pat    

Seriously? What is Leno going to use Triumph? Not! No one else could ever do justice to those bits. Let Conan have HIS property NBC bullies.

1648 days ago
81.

Bobo Frog    

TMZ, next Conan article...post a better picture of him...one where's he's smiling.

1648 days ago
82.

tacky66    

do you think he will donate half of this 30M$ to haiti victims.

1648 days ago
83.

yaknow    

Oh poor baby. He gets millions of dollars for basically failing at his job. His ratings sucked. There are a fraction of people who support this amateur (if there were more, he'd still have a show). A few celebrities support him and we all know how obnoxious they can be when there's a mic in front of them. Meanwhile, I have worked my ass off in college and grad school yet find myself unemployed, uninsured with a chronic illness that is unbelievably diffucult to treat. I am not alone. A friend in a simliar situation is facing eviction. Conan and all your whiny ass cronies --- STFU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1648 days ago
84.

Dude    

I believe Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is a creation of Robert Smigel (the guy who holds the puppet and does the voice). The intellectual property rights might belong to him, not NBC.

1648 days ago
85.

MSOLTOW    

I can't believe this dork is getting money because he is throwing a childs fit for losing the job he stole in the first place.

1648 days ago
86.

chawms    

I hope Jay falls on his face. He is the un-funniest man on TV. Pure corn. His guests have saved him.

1648 days ago
87.

Ashley    

Conan has brought NBC alot of money and a ton of viewers for many, many years! How can they be so lame?? I love Conan and I'll def be wathcing him when he returns to TV. What am I gonna do without him for now tho? lol

1648 days ago
88.

Makenna    

TMZ why did you announce in the beginning he would get 80 million? Was it just another flub from TMZ? You seem to make a lot of them.

How many people work there and you can't seem to get anything right.

1648 days ago
89.

Sloane    

in reference to
15. NBC has just let out a tiger they had in their tank. Conan is now free to launch an innovative market-shifting entertainment concept
------------------------------------

had he have done that his ratings would have soared

so if he was capable of that why did he give us same old, same old at a different hour?? he's had years to decide on how to do it and wasn't the least bit innovative

his bad!

1648 days ago
90.

Sloane    

in reference to
61. Leno's Broken Promise: 'Here It Is, Conan, It's Yours.'

Five years ago, Jay Leno promised Conan O'Brien he'd step aside in 2009, vowing to hand over The Tonight Show without repeating the bitter fallout of the first late night war. This past week he broke that promise, this shows the ethics and morals of Jay Leno. Don't believe me, check out the link below, and never never never trust Jay Leno.
-----------------------------------

people need to get the facts right... to simplify

1) when NBC decided to go with Jay over Letterman to succeed Carson when he chose to retire, Letterman was already a fixture on TV airing after Carson.

Leno was a stand-up comic who sometimes substituted for Johnny's nights off-so did Joan Rivers and a few others
so it naturally took a while for Leno to establish himself and get good ratings

Conan came with a built in audience to the Tonight Show hour but sadly didn't keep the ratings

2) in 2004 when Conan was negotiating with NBC he let it be known that if he wasn't going to host the Tonght Show he'd jump networks.

So NBC renewed his contract agreeing to 2009 as being when he'd get it. That meant that Jay had to agree to step aside (so he didn't decide out of thin air that he just wanted to retire at such a young age with a large following)

Leno graciously went on air discussing how he would "retire" from the show and hand it over to his deserving friend Conan- even had Conan on showing him support and great loyalty to the network that was pushing him out

He purposely did that so that when Conan took over he wouldn't have all negative press and controversy that he experienced years prior.

3) fast forward to 2009 and Leno is consistently beating Letterman in the ratings so NBC, so knowing that Leno would have a great offer from another network and become competition, it dawned on NBC that they had better figure out a way to to keep him and still honor what they negotiated with Conan years before

4) that's when they came up with the idea of Leno in Primetime.
NBC wasn't winning those ratings so they thought it was a worthwhile "experiment"

Leno's ratings were great when you compared them to the other late night audiences-so he held his own very well in that regard
But when you compared his ratings to the dramas on opposite him on the other networks at 10, they weren't as high naturally

Conan's ratings did not live up to hopes and expectations- he kept losing to Letterman

5) it's all about the $$$$
because of NBC trying to keep Conan from leaving in 2004, they sadly created their own domino effect downfall and ensuing disaster and controversy

so people should do some research before they spout off condemning Jay or Conan for the whole debacle

sad that NBC has ended up putting the 2 of them in this position with all the ensuing controversy-there is no villain here-both decent talented guys with different styles appealing to different audiences-that's why the 2 back to back at late night were such a winning combination for NBC

there should be heads rolling over at NBC for such a major screw-up and leaving 2 top talents hanging in the wind

they could at least make an official statement to explain how they got into this mess by trying to keep both of their major talents (in other words the ratings and $$ from the sponsors associated with the 2 shows) with their NBC family!!

1648 days ago
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