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NBC to Conan O'Brien: Pants on Fire!

5/4/2010 4:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

NBC is pissed at Conan O'Brien and claims he lied during his "60 Minutes" interview.

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Network sources tell TMZ Conan was flat out wrong when he said NBC gave him the axe rather than Leno because Jay's buyout would have been bigger. Sources say the buyouts for Conan and Jay were roughly the same. TMZ broke the story Conan took home $32.5 million from his severance package with NBC.

And our network sources say Coco was just plain lying in response to Steve Kroft's question:

Kroft:  "They said that the -- for the first time in history, 'The Tonight Show' was losing money."

Conan:  "I don't see how that's, I honestly don't see how that's possible.  It's really not possible.  It isn't possible."

NBC sources say the show would not only have lost more than $5 million this year had they kept Conan on, but the loss was specifically discussed with Conan -- "They were well-informed of that fact," said one source.


184 COMMENTS

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76.

kickaboo    

I quit believing NBC and Jay Leno long ago, too many lies and manipulations. Plus, look how many people they put out of work with their manipulations (with the 10pm show)...and Jay Leno said he never even thought about them (to Oprah). They also covered up that the news organizations were complaining about Leno's lead-in costing them big bucks.

1632 days ago
77.

Pongo    

Couldn't NBC just take the high road for once and keep their mouth's shut? What they did stunk. Period. Their continued attempts to justify it only remind people of what sh*tty people they are.

1632 days ago
78.

Echo    

We all know Conan made a HUGE tactical mistake when all the negotiations were going down for the NBC fiascoes. He didn't hide in the NBC executive bathroom to keep abreast of the real planning that was going down. Of course it would have been pretty crowded in there with Leno and his brown lips. Think I will just hitch a ride on the Conan truth train. If NBC didn't post a loss when Leno took over for Carson when the show's ratings were in the toilet for 2 years then they sure didn't post a loss now. And were is the blame for lower profit as a result of a lousy lead-in with Leno in prime time. All the local news shows across the country reported devastating numbers and demanded Jay's removal. How is NBC going to blame that one on Conan?

1632 days ago
79.

Wellington     

Conan made it very clear during the interview that he wasn't fired. He choose to leave because they weren't being nice to him anymore and were pressuring him to make a decision. It just shows how immature he is and can't relate to anyone else.



The decisions NBC had made put late night and prime time into shambles. The NBC execs, mainly Zucker's, asses were on the line with the Comcast merger and new bosses coming in soon with sharpened axes. They had to do something fast and couldn't wait for Conan to get his rear in gear and get higher ratings. On top of that Conan ignored the advice he was given by people like Loren Michaels who was responsible for his big break to begin with. They needed a quick fix so they were going to try the 12:05 thing. Conan's B.S. about ruining TTS legacy was just that. It was about his ego and his bosses weren't being nice to him by wanting him to get off the pot and make a decision.

1632 days ago
80.

squeakermama    

Am I all alone here? I think they both stink.

1632 days ago
81.

Grant Devereaux    

Conan walked with over 32 million dollars from a seven month job. I should be crying? His ratings sucked and the show was losing money. If he had any class, which he does not, he would focus on coming back with a blockbuster show and let the chips fall where they may. Truth is, his USA network show is likely to flop as well and Conan will be on Dancing with the Almost Stars in a year or two.

1632 days ago
82.

Marco    

It is so unfair to every struggling artist that this mediocre comedian got 32 million just to make him leave the job. He was SO BAD that he was paid 32 million to leave. Can you imagine?



Ask any stand up comedian what happens to them if they bomb night after night in some club.



"You're fired Conan, but hey here is 32 million because you're a corporate heck too with too many lawyers."



So much for the regular guy facing injustice. Bleah.

1632 days ago
83.

AndreaDee    

My only question? What is the context of "losing" money?



My guess is the answer to that is they weren't nescessarily losing money BUT not making AS MUCH money as they were when comparing year over year results.

1632 days ago
84.

Donna    

I watched the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien ONCE. That was enough for me. How anyone can say that this guy is a comedienne is absolute
idiocy. He asks like a ten year old most of the time. Any one with any common sense knew right from the start that it was a matter of time before they axed him. Jay Leno at least can be funny and has some interesting segments on his show. I will say however that Jay Leno at 10:00pm was a BIG mistake. There's too many good shows on at that time for his show to have any amount of success.

1632 days ago
85.

Matt    

This is such BS. If NBC lost money with Conan, then they are now losing money with Jay because his 18-49 demo is now the EXACT SAME (and down over 30% from last year)!!



And when you factor in how much money was lost when Leno torched the primetime and 11pm affiliate news ratings, it's clear the Jay NOT CONAN was the one that cost NBC the most this last year.

1632 days ago
86.

Whatever    

Sorry to have to keep repeating myself, but Conan was moved because Jay's sucky 10 PM show had zero viewers and 11 PM news across the country, which counts on lead-in viewers, was getting tanked in their own ratings. Those stations complained often and loudly to NBC that Jay's show was killing their ratings. It's important to NBC to keep the local affiliates happy and NBC screwed that up by giving Jay Leno and his terrible show the 10 PM spot. So in a desperate move, it was decided to move Jay back to his old time slot. (Showing the crazy thinking of NBC suits.) That was not the right solution. Conan was great on Sunday. NBC is the one looking bad in all this, and Jay too. NBC should have canned Jay after Month 1 of his bad show. But they don't have the you-know-what to do anything realistic and brave. Or admit mistakes ever.

1632 days ago
87.

wow    

Most TMZ commentators are morons!! NBC should have kept Jay instead of messing around with Conan. The guy is NOT FUNNY. Plain and simple. I'm Canadian and I watch and enjoy Jay. If Jay isn't on I would watch Letterman. Conan, NEVER. I repeat NOT FUNNY!!!

1632 days ago
88.

Get a Nose Job, please!!!    

It's painful to watch Conan. He's such a BORE and not funny at all. NBC goofed in giving Conan the Tonight Show in the first place. So glad that Leno is back. David Letterman is just a cranky old man - and not funny.

1632 days ago
89.

BEVERLY    

Everyone Conan & Jay Just SHUT UP and do a good job...It is enough, already...The network and bosses make all decisions. Just as we answer to higher-ups..QUIET and stop the finger-pointing.....

1632 days ago
90.

suesch1950    

I watched Conan's interview and I disagree with his assertion that if the roles were reversed and he had been asked to return to the Tonight show, he would have walked. Really? How easy it is to say that now. I ask why would Jay Leno who had the highest rated Tonight Show walk away from an opportunity to come back? Conan would have done the same. And when you get down to it, Leno and Conan were two individuals competing for the same job. NBC looked at each of their resumes and chose Leno. It is as simple as that.
And how many runnerups walk away with 32 million. I hear violins in the background.




Simply, the NBC execs should never have replaced Leno in the first place. He was in first place!

1632 days ago
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