Conan’s Expiration Date: 1/22/10? (updated)

ESPN’s Bill Simmons tells his 1 million followers CoCo’s got a week to live on NBC? But network sources say: Um, news to us

 

UPDATE: Conan’s publicity maven, 42West’s Leslee Dart, tells TheWrap the notion of a fixed end date for Conan is news to Team Conan.

"I can tell you that Conan is preparing to tape a show tonight, and tomorrow night and every night unless or until someone at NBC tells him differently," she said.

ORIGINAL POST:

Is next week Conan O'Brien‘s last as host of "The Tonight Show"? An ESPN columnist says it is — but if so, it’s news to Team Conan.

Bill Simmons, the ESPN Sports Guy columnist, just tweeted  to his 1 million followers that O’Brien’s staff is telling talent reps next week will be his last.

Writes Simmons: "FYI: Next week is Conan’s final week hosting the Tonight Show. His staff is trying to book big guests so he goes out with a bang. It’s true."

Perhaps. Things are moving fast in Late Night Crisis 2010, and next week could very well be Conan’s last at NBC. Hell, tonight could end up being his swan song if Jeff Zucker gets a bug up his posterior for some reason and decides to just pull the plug.

A source who works for NBC told TheWrap that nobody at "Tonight" has been told to shut down the show next week, and speculates this buzz may have come from a rival late night show. (Remember, the late night gang loves to gossip about itself.)

The insider notes that "Tonight" is always looking to book big guests. With the clock ticking on O’Brien’s remaining "Tonight’ reign — be it one day, one week or one month — there’s an obvious incentive for O’Brien’s bookers to smoke ‘em if they got ‘em.

President Obama, we’re looking at you. You’ve done Dave and Jay… time to give it up for CoCo.