Conan O’Brien and TBS are extending their relationship for three more years, as per the announcement made Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The Turner cable channel TBS, which is dedicated to comedy programming, has extended its relationship with O’Brien after bringing his late-night television show to the network back in 2010.
Michael Wright, president and head of programming for TBS, boasted about having built a terrific relationship with O’Brien over the past four years. With their previous deal scheduled to end November of 2015, the network is thrilled to be extending the show for another three-year contract, through to 2018.
Since starting the relationship, O’Brien has been the unquestioned face of the network, which has otherwise struggled to find original comedies to pair with its roster of reruns. Bringing not only an incredibly young audience to TBS, O’Brien has also created a digital presence that draws millions of fans to his unique brand of comedy.
With the announcement of the new deal, TBS and Conan O’Brien bring a small degree of stability for at least three more years to a time slot full of dramatic changes. Earlier in the year, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers started in the 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. time slots with NBC. David Letterman will be retiring in 2015 from CBS’ The Late Show, and Stephen Colbert, current host of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, will take fill his spot. Craig Ferguson will also be stepping down from the network’s Late Late Show at the end of the year, and Chelsea Handler announced she will be leaving her show, Chelsea Lately, at the end of the year. Also, new shows, like HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, will be joining the late-night race.
Although the Conan show does not have the same rankings in the late night numbers like some of the other late night programs, the 51-year-old host averages 862,000 viewers, including DVR showing. TBS stated that Conan has more adults within the 18-34 ranges, as well as having a popular stance in digital and social media realms.
During the 2014 MTV Movie Awards, O’Brien boasted about being a talk show host for twenty-six years. After the infamous departure from The Tonight Show, O’Brien landed the 2010 TBS deal, which debuted to 4 million viewers. In addition, the show has been on the road for some memorable weeks in New York, Atlanta, and last month in Dallas. In the most surprising news, Conan will break new ground next year, becoming the first late-night show to broadcast from the 2015 Comic-Con in San Diego
With three more years, in what seems to have been a productive relationship between Conan O’Brien and TBS, audiences will have to wait and see what new and exciting things will be brought to the network. In a time when television is continuously changing in the hopes of keeping up with Internet broadcasting, Turner and Conan O’Brien will have to stay one step ahead. With O’Brien not being afraid to push the envelope, the next three years should be extremely interesting.
By Virginia Snowden