Conan O’Brien’s TBS deal expires next year, which means he’ll probably ink a new one this year. That’s typically how these things work — television networks do not want their star weighing free agency.
By then, “Conan” probably will not look too much like it does right now.
Turner chief John Martin told TheWrap on Wednesday that they’re planning to shift the talk show from nightly to weekly. He was inspired by Conan’s recent remotes in countries like Cuba, Berlin and South Korea, which have proven to get the host’s creative juices flowing. The overseas shows also didn’t hurt TV ratings, which could use a B12 injection overall.
TBS boss Kevin Reilly walked that plan back a bit Thursday in the following statement: “Conan remains an invaluable franchise, partner and producer for our TBS brand and we’ll be in business with him for a long time. 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.”
A rep for O’Brien told TheWrap that any changes are still being discussed, and that Martin got a bit ahead of himself. Still, the team wants to alter the creative direction for “Conan” in near the future.
The O’Brien camper explained that his client approached TBS with some new ideas. Evidently, the tall “Tonight Show” alum has really enjoyed the pre-taped stuff, including “Clueless Gamer” and a gigantically viral 2016 sketch with Kevin Hart.
“Everybody loves each other,” the rep told us of the parties involved. So stay tuned to see exactly what happens with “Conan.”
Turner corporate did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for clarification from Martin. “Conan” production Conaco had no comment when reached.