TBS Renews ‘Conan’ Through 2018

Deal keeps O’Brien at cabler through late-night shifts
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TBS has renewed Conan O’Brien’s late night talk show Conan through 2018, the network announced Wednesday.

The move to retain O’Brien comes in a year that has seen several hosting changes in late-night franchises at NBC, CBS and Comedy Central. In January, Jimmy Fallon took over as host of NBC’s The Tonight Show and Seth Meyers stepped into Fallon’s former role on Late Night. Then in April, David Letterman announced that he would retire from Late Show some time in 2015. CBS moved quickly to secure Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert as a replacement. The post-Daily Show time period currently occupied by The Colbert Report will be filled by Larry Wilmore, whose new show The Minority Report will premiere in January. CBS must now find a replacement for Craig Ferguson, who announced in late April that he would step down as host of The Late Late Show.

For the week ending May 2, Conan drew a 0.32 live-plus-same-day Nielsen rating among adults 18-49 and 684,000 viewers—48% lower in the demo and 56% fewer total viewers than Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. But the show skews significantly younger than the network late-night talk shows and Comedy Central’s options at the same hour.

“Over the past four years, we have built a terrific relationship with Conan O'Brien and are thrilled to be extending his series for another three years,” said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies. “Conan has not only brought an incredibly young audience to TBS but has also created a digital presence that draws millions of fans to his unique brand of comedy.”

O’Brien’s TBS show launched in 2010, after he was removed from The Tonight Show following fewer than eight months as host and replaced by his predecessor, Jay Leno—a decision that led to public protests and a social media campaign that ultimately failed to save O’Brien’s job.

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