Conan news is heating up again, gang.

The web is starting to buzz that the end approaches - the website, FTVLive, which broke the "Jay Leno is canceled" story last week, now says next week MAY be Co's last week at NBC.

 I would be surprised if he lasts out the rest of this week, given the zetzing he gave NBC last night.

 He's begging NBC to can him.

  And if they do, I smell those sweet words, "breach of contract..." (Maybe that's the game here?)

  I suspect what's going on right now is a massive swordfight over exact departure terms, and how long Conan is gonna sit on the beach - before Fox hires him.

 My prediction: He starts at Fox this fall, or early next year. I'm convinced the network wants him on board by early '11, for the simple reason that "The X Factor" will arrive that fall, and imagine the spectacular promotional benefits of having an established late night talk show just as a hugely expensive gamble launches. Why, Simon wouldn't just be Co's first guest, but regular guest.

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  But Nikki Finke has a great post that you must read right now, but I'll try to summarize quickly - that Jeff Zucker is playing hardball and threatening to beach him for three and a half years! For all the gory details, go to deadlinehollywood.com.

 Finke's sources - which I would imagine, are gold-plated - say it's all posturing and t hat Zucker is really angling for six months to a year, just to get Jay comfortable at 11:35.

 Believe me, friends - even if Fox hired him tomorrow, it would still take at least six months to get this new show mounted. I think a fall launch is realistic, but early '11, just before the launch of "Idol" might be more realistic.

 More Conan news: Supporters are expected to rally outside the Universal gates today in support of their tall, pale hero.

  More to come...