Despite news reports claiming that TBS was planning to shift Conan O’Brien’s daily late-night show to a weekly format, the channel’s chief executive said that wasn’t in the cards — for now.
“Conan remains an invaluable franchise, partner and producer for our TBS brand and we’ll be in business with him for a long time,” TBS president Kevin Reilly said in a statement. “As the media landscape continues to evolve, Conan will continue to lead the evolution of what a talk show will be in the digital age. At this time, we have no plans to change the format or frequency of his popular TBS show. In addition to Conan’s daily responsibilities to his talk show, we continue to have very ambitious plans that will further broaden and evolve our relationship with Conan.”
The entertainment website, The Wrap, reported Thursday that John Martin, the CEO of Turner Broadcasting (the parent company of TBS) had told them of the change in format during an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Per the Wrap, Martin cited Samantha Bee’s success hosting a one-hour program on the network, and said a one-hour-per-week format would free up O’Brien to travel more often. Shows that originated from Cuba and South Korea in recent years have not only done well for both network and program but also offered a promotional point of departure from the rest of late night.
O’Brien joined TBS in the fall of 2010 after wrapping a “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television” 30-city tour — an end-run around a legal roadblock set up by NBC after his ill-fated and short-lived run on “Tonight.”