Continuing in the tradition of late-night hosts biting the hand that feeds them at the upfronts, Conan O’Brien joked that TBS was producing an original movie about Turner Broadcasting, and how he would cast it.
O’Brien said Turner CEO Phil Kent would be played by Steve Carrell, Turner Entertainment executive VP Michael Wright by Colin Firth and sales boss David Levy by Taylor Hicks of American Idol.
Then he said Linda Yaccarino, executive VP for ad sales and acquisitions, would be played by Richie Sambora, the Bon Jovi guitar player. Replying to the groans from the audience, O’Brien noted that he was running out of networks to work for.
Walker Jacobs, Turner’s head of digital ad sales, would be played by “the kid from Two and a Half Men.
The role of CNN’s Piers Morgan would be played by Susan Boyle.
Then he took aim at Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, Turner’s parent company, saying he’d be played by Woody from Toy Story. “I didn’t think he’d be in the room,” O’Brien added.
Peter Griffin from Family Guy would play Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. Founder Ted Turner would be played by Captain Crunch and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer by a Furby.
Here are some of O’Brien’s other upfront remarks:
“We’re No. 1 in TBS’s key demo: people who can’t afford HBO,” he said, adding that “55% of TBS viewer own their homes. It’s on wheels but they own their own homes.”
He said TBS would be offering buyers sneak peeks at new Seinfeld reruns where Newman shows up, and episodes of The Office where Jim and Pam really hit it off.
O’Brien observed that Matt Lauer said he planned to stay with the Today show, and that he had a long-term contract with NBC. “All I can says is, Matt, welcome to TBS.”
He added that with Angie Harmon, Eric McCormack and Mark Paul Gosselaar, he could hold “monthly survivors of NBC meetings.”
Conan closed by introducing Michael Wright, executive VP for programming for TNT and TBS, noting that he’d been an actor. “I saw hi acting like TBS had original programming,” Conan noted. Then he tried to roll a clip of Wright acting in a movie, when a power surge took out Turner’s video equipment.