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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.


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Good riddance, Conan.

1706 days ago


Good for Him! Personally, I don't watch Jay or Conan but I think NBC is nuts!!! Give me a break - Jay Leno is washed up - WHO CARES WHAT HE DOES - The change was going to happen sooner or later so the fact that their back peddling now shows they have nothing in reserve to beat Letterman

1706 days ago


Ah Wellington Wellington talk about knowing and stating the facts and yet you yourself have them all messed up, on purpose I'm sure! Leno was being replaced 5 years ago, he agreed to this, his staff knew about it and he had a 5 year window to prepare... and what does he do....oh he balks, he cries, his ego will not let him rest, so then pushes, and whines to get a 10:00 show that is very similiar to the Tonight Show (which is not Jays show by the way, The Tonight Show is a franchise and meant to be handed down to others, it is not Jay's show). So sadly Jay gets the 10 o'clock spot which is too bad because that also affected other shows, and also gave Conan the worst lead-in show in history. Once Leno decided to go back on a handshake deal everything became a mess! Conan had staff that moved here with him, people who moved families and started children in new schools etc., so whatever they stick to NBC I am all for and make no mistake Conan will help his staff and families too. Jay in the meantime had 5 years to prepare and so did his staff, how many people have that amount of time?

Jay is an ego driven big baby who should have stepped down and then maybe he could have done some real things for humanity instead of car collecting. The guy is a jerk and now it is finally showing.

1706 days ago


How Stupid is NBC... and how stupid is that moran on the helm? COCO, since they aren't playing nice, stick it right back to them: Have FOX (or your next employer) pay you a whoping one saw buck a year so NBC has to continue to pay you through the contact term. You can always get extra money (back load the new contract) after your deal ends with the bafoons at NBC. They want to keep some of your stuff (Comic the I Dig and Mast Bear) then make 'em pay through the nose.

1706 days ago

Milf Biggenson    

Chris ^^ above is 100% correct. People are forgetting that Conan's staff uprooted themselves for what I'm sure they figured was a sure gig for a decent period of time. I mean, the guy was on the air for 16 years before getting The Tonight Show. If I worked on that show, I would have assumed we'd be there at bare minimum 5-10 years. Leno's staff had 5 years to prepare and get other gigs lined up etc, and they already lived in Hollywood with connections etc.

This a logistical nightmare for Conan's staff. The payout they're getting is chicken feed. Liz Taylor spends more on catfood in one week then these people severance packages work out to be.

1706 days ago

Patrick Joseph    


1706 days ago


No need to bash NBC anymore. Just forget the past and let it go. Move on and focus on making a better show. Stop clinging on to a psycho ex-girlfriend.

1706 days ago


So I'm supposed to care and protest NBC when this dork walks away with 32 million? WHO CARES!!!!
A lot of people are out of jobs and losing homes because of how this prick and his Hollywood friends voted in 2008!

1706 days ago


Who gives Rat's Ass. It's a damn shame both these idiot's are paid this much money T.V. show or NOT!! Take some of that money Conan will be making from sitting on his ass and sending it over to Haiti, get some homeless souls off the street, better educate, feed and home our children, give teachers the raise they deserve AND SO ON!! Do you honestly really believe these two deserve so much!!

1706 days ago


I'm sick of this "work for Fox for $1" idea. It won't fly legally.

Also, I'm sick of the "Conan wouldn't agree to be on 1/2 an hour later, waaaa!" bit. If The Tonight Show were to start at 12:05, it would have become The Tomorrow Show, and Tom Snyder is dead. The idea was just another way of sneaking Leno back in ahead of Conan, which is what NBC was trying to do from the beginning by putting him on at 10 every weekday; it would have eventually become an hour if Conan had agreed to the half-hour.

1706 days ago




1706 days ago


If NBC doesn't give him his rights, he better go 4 the other $47.5 Mil.!!!!

1706 days ago

Mr. BigBrains    

This is going to be great! Conan will eventually destroy his nemisis Jay 'the weasel' Leno. It's going to be a wild 3 Way (four if you include Jimmy Kimmel) but I predict that the red haired one will take down both Letterman and Leno.

Good for Conan for standing up for his staff members.

1706 days ago

sir nigel buttercrumpet    

Jay Leno Insists He Isn’t A Terrible Excuse For A Human Being

This Jay Leno/ Conan O’Brien thing is still rumbling on, even though it’s been going for three weeks.

Or five years. Or 17 years. Or wherever you want to draw the starting line. Anyway, it’s been going on for so long that a pattern has developed – Conan O’Brien uses his show to bash NBC, Jay Leno uses his show to sort of bash NBC but not enough for anyone to be convinced and the whole world remains fixated on the saga of two middle-aged millionaires who read Tiger Woods jokes from pieces of cardboard for a living.

But last night the formula changed. Jay Leno used his show to put his side of the story across. And there wasn’t a single joke in the entire segment. Which, come to think of it, isn’t that unusual for Jay Leno.

It looks like, by the end of the day, a settlement will be reached regarding this brouhaha about Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno. And, if our predictions are correct, then this is what will happen…

* Jay Leno will return to 11:35 to become the host of The Tonight Show again.

* Conan O’Brien will walk away from NBC with a $30 million severance package, a stipulation that he can’t start another show until September and a temporary gagging order.

* Although momentarily confused that a white-haired chinny midget is telling the exact same jokes that the lanky ginger lady would have otherwise told on The Tonight Show, somehow viewers will manage to get over it and the world will somehow keep turning.

But that’s all to come later today. And because of this, Jay Leno used his show last night to set the record straight. For some reason, just because he’s starting to look like the sort of person who’d compulsively stamp on the throat of anyone who so much as thought about taking his job, Jay Leno has emerged from this affair as the bad guy. But in actual fact, as he spent five minutes explaining to his audience, Jay Leno is actually a really great guy – and, for the record, he really loves that red-headed chap who he keeps screwing over. People reports:

“Through all of this, Conan O’Brien has been a gentleman,” Leno said during the taping. “He’s a good guy. I have no animosity towards him.” For now, Leno said, it appeared that he would be returning as host of The Tonight Show after O’Brien apparently rejected moving to midnight. “So that’s pretty much where we are. It looks like we might be back at 11:30,” he said. “I’m not sure. I don’t know.”

But anyway, as nasty and bitter as this has all got, at least we can be sure that it won’t be long before we can all put an end to this, and everyone involved can move on with their heads held high.

That is, you know, until Jay Leno sees someone eating a sandwich that he likes the look of, at which point he’ll go out of his way to make their life a misery until he can have the sandwich for himself. But we’ll deal with that when we have to.

1706 days ago

I'm With Coco    


View his 2006 appearance on O'Brien's show here at YouTube, where he literally tells Conan that Jay will never let him take over the Tonight Show:

1706 days ago
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