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Conan O’Brien’s relationship with TBS will almost certainly extend beyond his new late-night show for the network.
O’Brien — who’s locked in a five-year agreement with the Turner-owned network, a Turner insider confirmed to TheWrap — may also very well end up producing shows for the network and the Time Warner empire via his Conaco production company.
"We got this (deal) pulled off in 60-something hours, but we sure as heck like (Conan’s) sensibility," Turner Entertainment Networks cheif Steve Koonin told TheWrap. "We hopefully will be doing multiple projects together."
Koonin said he doesn’t know yet if that will mean Conaco will itself set up shop at either TBS or, more likely, either Warner Bros. TV or Warner Horizon Television. Conaco’s current production deal, with Universal Media Studios, expires this summer (the company has a pilot in the works right now at NBC).
But given the substantial investment Turner and Time Warner are making in O’Brien, it seems a given that the company will want to stake a claim to all of O’Brien’s creative content. That could simply mean signing a first-look deal with Conaco rather than an overall agreement which paid overhead for the company (much of which could be paid for via the deal giving O’Brien control of his show).
Former Studios USA chief David Kissinger has run Conaco for the past few years.
UPDATE 6:20 PM
"We are hopeful and confident that we’ll land a deal for the production company," O’Brien manager Gavin Polone e-mails TheWrap. "Kissinger has done a great job. We very much want to stay attached to him."