After days of speculation about the future of Conan O’Brien and The Tonight Show, it appears that the seven-month experiment has been terminated.
Variety is reporting that a deal was hammered out yesterday that will see the carrot-topped host receive $30-40 million to give both the 11:35 PM timeslot and the title “The Tonight Show” back to his predecessor, Jay Leno. Conan’s last show is scheduled to air next Friday.
Part of the settlement will allow Conan to jump to another network as early as the Fall, giving Leno the chance to reestablish himself as NBC recycled Tonight Show host. It’s expected Conan will sign with Fox as soon as it is possible since the situation has also put his entire staff out of work.
It would have been much cheaper for Jeff Zucker and company to have never made the change in the first place as it would have saved the network the cost of relocating Conan from New York to Los Angeles and the cost of building a new set.
Tags: Conan O'Brien, Fox, Jay Leno, NBC