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Lopez Producer: Coco Will Boost George

Hilary Estey McLoughlin explains why Lopez loved the idea of being bumped an hour for Conan

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By George, Lopez thinks he likes it. Conan on TBS, that is.

Lopez didn’t have time to talk to TheWrap Monday, but Hilary Estey McLoughlin — she heads Telepictures, which produces "Lopez Tonight" – did. And she says Lopez wasted no time getting on board Team Coco.

"He was not strong-armed on this," McLoughlin said. "He immediately embraced the idea."

Lopez’s theory: A rising tide lifts all boats.

"His thought was that he’d benefit from the buzz and the lead-in," she said. "And he respects Conan a lot. This could make TBS a player in late-night for a long time."

Rahter than Lopez being "isolated" as a talk show island on TBS, now "it’s a block," McLoughlin said. "It brings a whole new architecture to TBS."

Lopez was able to pitch O’Brien on the pros of moving to TBS in part because he’s been so pleased with his dealings with the network.

"He feels he has creative autonomy, and there’s massive marketing muscle behind the show," she said. "It’s been a fantastic experience."

Loughlin didn’t want to talk about whether Fox stations were right to resist giving up a shot at O’Brien to keep a hold on syndicated repeats (some of which are distributed by McLoughlin’s corporate siblings).

But, she did agree Monday’s news was significant.

"There’s been a generational shift to cable from broadcast," she said.