Conan O'Brien, who very famously left NBC's "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" earlier this year after a shake-up involving Jay Leno and shifting time slots, will host a new late night talk show on TBS beginning in November.
The news is a bit of a surprise since industry watchers were betting on Conan moving to Fox, since his people have been in negotiations with them for awhile. Negotiations with TBS began only ten days ago. The New York Times has more on how the deal went down.
Conan's new show will air at 11pm, against "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report," both on Comedy Central. TBS already has a late night talk show at 11pm, hosted by George Lopez. Lopez will move to midnight, which is kind of funny considering the reason Conan left NBC to start with was because he didn't want his show moved to midnight.
Even so, Lopez appears to be excited to have Conan as a lead-in. In fact, according to Conan's manager Gavin Polone, it was George Lopez who helped close the deal. “George called Conan to sell Conan on this idea. He was all for it. It really was George who made this happen,” Polone told The New York Times. In a statement from TBS, Lopez said, "I can't think of anything better than doing my show with Conan as my lead-in. It’s the beginning of a new era in late-night comedy."
TBS, which airs locally on Time Warner Cable channel 34, already has a brief online promo running.
Conan commented on the TBS news in his usual way: with humor. "In three months I’ve gone from network television to Twitter to performing live in theaters, and now I’m headed to basic cable. My plan is working perfectly."
Conan also said via Twitter: "The good news: I will be doing a show on TBS starting in November! The bad news: I'll be playing Rudy on the all new Cosby Show."
Conan opens his 30-city comedy tour tonight with a show in Eugene, Oregon.