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Conan O'Brien Releases Statement On Late Night Line-Up

Conan O'Brien Releases Statement On Late Night Line-Up

Late night talk show host Conan O’Brien released the following statement about the NBC late-night line-up. Check out what he had to say:

“People of Earth: In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

“Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

(Click inside to continue reading Conan’s statement…)

“But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

“Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

“So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

“There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

“Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.

“Yours, Conan.”

Just Jared on Facebook
Posted to: Conan O'Brien

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  • Janeth

    Aww poor Conan! I say Jay Leno needs to retire… She steals ppl acts so why have that chin on t.v. any longer. I say Conan gets to keep his time slot!

  • Janeth

    @Janeth: sorry meant he!!!

  • anon

    Team Conan. What a classy statement from a class act. NBC sucks.

  • good


  • CF

    What a class act. Bravo!

  • Kelly

    Leno needs to retire. He is not funny.

  • hollywoodgossip

    Stupid NBC How do you want move Tonight show at 12:05. It will be terrible mistakes.

  • Sally

    NBC you screwed up. CONAN is absolutely correct. What a CLASS act. Don’t watch Jay Leno when they move him! Jay Leno is pulling a Brett Favre…HE should’ve moved on and written this letter.

    Conan never had a chance with Leno wanting his time slot back. Wherever Conan goes, we will watch now! I hope it all works out.

  • The Ginger is my hero

    Conan i love you man, I hope he stays on the time slot and continue with hosting The Tonight Show. He really is a class act.

    LOL at the last sentence

    “I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.”

  • Anon

    If you google the past, everything Conan said is the truth. Zucker, NBC and Leno has screwed the pooch.
    Conan and Jimmy and their crews are getting left to clean up the mess and take out the garbage. Zucker/Leno don’t give a sh!t about the crews or lives of Conan and Jimmy and their crews, they just want to feed their massive narcissism and pockets.
    Stand behind Conan and Jimmy. Zucker and Leno go to h3ll!
    Jay manipulations come home to roost.

  • The Ginger is my hero

    btw how sexy is that picture of him

    owwwww. =]

  • to kelly

    you’re right leno does need to leave the scene. what made johnny carson so wonderful is that he knew when it was time to leave and he did so graciously. like johnny, conan is a class act.

  • connie

    Very classy Conan. Please DO NOT leave the show.. You are great at what you do. Keep it up.

  • Chelsea

    Conan is a vary classy man! He is the the funniest late night man! Jay Leno should retire, he isn’t funny and his show is painful to watch.

  • pop86

    The idiot at NBC who made the agreement with Conan and Jay should be fired.

  • me

    I think he is making a big mistake leaving the show, he should stick around as long as he can, no one can predict the future. Conan, stay and see how it all plays out.

  • Rita


  • Sarah

    Conan over Leno all day, everyday! I love Conan & Jimmy. Leno is a self-centered has-been. NBC needs to stop kissing Leno’s rear & keep the real entertainment in it’s normal time slots.

  • Anon

    Let Leno got to Fox….I hear they are taking idiots these days.

  • eliott

    So funny and wicked smart.

  • whocares

    You Go Conan!!
    I can’t understand why NBC is bending over backwards for Leno. His primetime show is a flop, so they reward him by screwing with an institution like the Tonight Show. WTF? No wonder they are in 4th place in network ratings. Piss poor decisions like this guarantee that they’ll continue to be in last place in the ratings for years to come.

  • I n F a m o u s l y C o o l

    i like leno, but conan is funnier. he’s a great host and i’d rather see jay leave. if jay wanted he could have kept the tonight show leaving conan at the late show and everything would have still been fine. leno wanted to move, he flopped, so dead his show and let him move on. i never thought jimmy fallon was funny so i dont care about him.. and poor carson daly.. who watched him? ahahaha

  • seriously

    It was NBC’s BIG to send Jay to Primetime. He was beating Letterman in the rating, and now that Letterman is beating Conan, they want to bring him back to his old time slot. NBC sucks.





    And let’s NOT forget that Johnny wanted Letterman and NOT Jay to be his replacement. Johnny even went so far as to appear on Letterman’s show after they picked Leno.




  • Louisa

    Conan is getting a raw deal. He didn’t fail, Leno did. His show is literally bringing down the whole network and yet NBC is giving Leno a second chance? If he’s so valuable why didn’t NBC keep Leno on The Tonight Show? Clearly they don’t give a hoot about Conan so they should have let him go if that’s what he wanted..

  • Sally


    I love Conan even more. We should all support him and show NBC how much they screwed up by NOT watching Leno and watching Conan wherever he goes.

  • Chau

    I love Conan! :( He’s a genuine, funny, and smart guy. So lovable! And I love his hair. :(

  • guess

    I guess Conan’s decision makes things easier for NBC. Leno will take his show back, and the Jimmy will come on @12:35am. Leno didn’t want to move to primetime. He was FORCED to move to prime time and gave up his show. That’s why both Leno and Conan are furious.

  • Sally

    Go to NBC’s programming contact page to complain about their moronic decision. They should’ve just let Jay go and left Conan & Jimmy alone. Bunch of greedy Corporate out of touch morons who think they can play with the little guys. No one watch Jay Leno at 11:30….screw NBC.

    Click on the Tonight Show: Conan & Vent your complaints here:

  • Sally

    @guess: It doesn’t matter what Jay wanted…he’s been wanting to come back to 11:30 since Conan was planning the move last year! Jay’s selfish. If Jay just did the right thing like Conan and left insisting to not mess with Conan and Jimmy’s slots, NBC would’ve left them alone.

    Please, it was Jay’s decision to stay and want his old position back instead of leaving and letting things be.

  • well

    The reason why NBC wants to bring back Jay is because Letterman is beating Conan in the rating. Before Jay left, he was beating Letterman. Now, people rather watch Letterman’s rerun than Conan. Jay probably feels entitled to take his show back as it was against his wish in the first place. But I doubt that Jay can beat Letterman now even if he takes his show back.

  • Jordan

    team conebone69

  • So Judgemental


  • alison

    No!! i think Conan is the best talk sbow host ever who cares about ratings. he is such an amazing comedian if he’s not on NBC i won’t watch it any more

  • alison

    No!! i think Conan is the best talk sbow host ever who cares about ratings. he is such an amazing comedian if he’s not on NBC i won’t watch it any more

  • Rita

    Conan is a class act, knows he is not as big a priority to NBC as Jay, haven’t enjoyed Jay in years, when I watch it’s Conan and Dave

  • ED


  • annonymous

    leno left late night and now he wants it back?
    UNFAIR! you dont get a second chance like that!
    I mean dont get me wrong i lovee Leno, but he left.

  • SarahB

    This is all so effed up! Jay said his goodbyes and retired, he should have GONE! Instead he did that stupid prime time show and effed everything up. Now, he’s taking his old job back? How ridiculous! RETIRE, Jay. You aren’t funny. Conan is a class act. He is by far more funny. Yeah, I know Letterman is “supposedly” beating him in ratings right now, but they need to give Conan more time. It’s only been 7 freakin’ months. I’m team Conan all the way. Jay can suck it.

  • Ali

    Bravo, Conan. Finally, someone with guts. Leno is OVER.

  • Shan

    Who runs NBC??? Seriously they make some of the worst decisions of any network….this being the worst. About the only good decision they made was to keep Chuck. Other than that…..the network needs to do some firing and re-hiring ASAP. Team Conan….he’s a class act all the way and a wonderful host with a great sense of humor. It’s only NBC’s loss to not have him in their family anymore.

  • Joanne

    @SarahB: I AGREE!

    why did they give Jay a gig if he didn’t want to renew for the Tonight show in the first place? that’s messed up. Jay should’ve retired or moved on to another network. They messed it up when they decided to have Jay back. poor conan, it’s not his fault. NBC effed up

  • stella

    Nooooo I love Conan!! NBC fix this mess u have created! We love him and want him on the air! =(

  • hello

    Screw you, NBC!!!!!

  • Alias

    Conan was much funnier when his show was in NY, if he goes to FOX, I hope he goes back.

  • debk

    Leno seems to have buyer’s remorse. It is time for him to go! I am so angry. All Conan’s people picked up and moved west. His letter was heartfelt and correct. I feel that the consumer should let NBC know that they will not watch Jay.

  • chelsea

    i like leno and conan but i absolutly hate jimmy fallon. So if nbc wants to keep jay just give jay jimmy fallons slot and kick fallon to the curb. Fallon wasnt even funny on SNL, that is just my opinion though.

  • mimi

    Conan is too good for LA. He is not fake enough to suck up to mediocre celebs that are considered “in” in LA and beat down the ones that are down- like Jay Leno used to do.
    Conan, go back to NYC where you belong and do your thing. We love you just as you are.