Conan O'Brien Releases Statement: Set To Leave NBC?
In a statement today, Conan O'Brien finally spoke out about air time competition between his Tonight Show and the Jay Leno Show. O'Brien said he was not going to do the Tonight Show if it airs at 12:05 am. He also acknowledged that he might have to leave NBC over the air time dispute.
Last week, it was announced that the Jay Leno Show will be going on hiatus during the 2010 Winter Olympics to return to the 11:30 PM time slot after the Games. The Jay Leno Show currently airs at 10/9 c. That made many people wonder what will happen to Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show, which currently airs weeknights 11:35/10:35 c. But, today's statement form O'Brien shows NBC officials were serious about taking Tonight Show's 11:35 PM air time away.
O'Brien said NBC made a decision to move the Tonight Show to a later time because of their "terrible difficulties"in prime-time. He said airing the Tonight Show after midnight would be "seriously damage ... the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting."
The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show.
O'Brien said he cannot participate in what he believes is the show's destruction, which many people took as O'Brien's leave from NBC. He said he does not have any offers from other networks and has no idea what is going to happen next. He did leave room for discussion, saying he hopes that NBC can resolve this situation quickly.
Jay Leno used to host the Tonight Show until May of 2009. O'Brien took over, while Leno started his own show that premiered in September.
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