Conan O'Brien kicked off the Turner Upfront in his
typically zany fashion Wednesday morning at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New
York, giving advertisers a taste of what his show might feel like on TBS.
The network announced that Conan's new talk show will debut Nov. 8.
The presentation started with a video of an obese and
bearded O'Brien (with a Tom Hanks Castaway-style beard, not the fairly
tame one the comedian has been sporting since leaving The Tonight Show)
lying on the floor of his home surrounded by pizza boxes and beer cans.
He spends his post-Tonight Show days idly lying on a trampoline while
his daughter bounces up and down, raiding his wine cabinet and applying peanut
butter to his toenails for the dog to lick off until a fateful call comes from
O'Brien then came out on stage and alluded to his fallout
with NBC and months off TV by asking the audience, "If anyone can explain
what the hell happened the last four months, I'd love to hear it."
He thanked Turner for giving him another opportunity in TV and joked, "I
really believe in basic cable...I don't want to live in a country that doesn't
have six ESPNs."
Turner Entertainment Networks President Steve Koonin also
added his two cents on Conan's arrival, saying he'd be remiss if he didn't
thank a certain NBC employee for allowing two great shows (O'Brien's new show
and Southland) to land at Turner as a photo of Jay Leno popped up on the
giant screen above the stage.
George Lopez, the man whose late night show is being
pushed back an hour to accommodate O'Brien's new show, said he was exited about
the tandem of "Coco and Loco," adding "We will do it again: the
same-sex Lucy and Desi."
The network fleshed out its summer and fall lineup and
trotted out nearly every star of its returning and new comedies and
dramas. Glory Daze, a comedy about young college students in
Wisconsin pledging a fraternity in the 1980s, will debut its eight-episode run
in late 2010. New animated series Neighbors From Hell, featuring
the voice of Molly Shannon, kicks off in June. Ice Cube's family comedy Are
We There Yet?, based on his movie of the same name, will also start in
TBS has three one-hour scripted series in
development. The Wedding Band centers on four friends who all play
together in a wedding band. The Rabbit Factory follows a detective
team of a recent widow and a recently married man. The Catch
focuses on a widower who re-enters the dating world. In addition, the network
is developing two animated series: Good and Evel, about a dysfunctional
family and featuring the voices of Stanley Tucci and Steve Buscemi, and The
Black Family, about a blended interracial family.
In drama, TNT announced that Leverage would be
moving to Sunday nights, giving that network four nights of original
programming. TNT will also debut Franklin & Bash, about
unconventional young lawyers, as well as Memphis Blues with Jason
Lee. It also showed a preview of Fallen Skies, from Steven
Spielberg and starring Noah Wyle, which debuts next summer.
TNT also announced development plans for an untitled
medical show executive produced by Don Cheadle that will focus on doctors at an
urgent-care clinic in Los Angeles in 1971; Graysmith, based on the life
of cartoonist, writer and part-time private eye Robert Graysmith; Green
Detective, about an environmentalist who looks for the truth as an
insurance adjuster for a big private insurance company; Brain Trust,
about four brilliant but social awkward academics who solve crimes; Miss
Philly, from Jamie Foxx, which explores the quiet suburbs and ubran war
zones of Philadelphia where the mayor has hired the city's first
African-American police commissioner; and Dear God, which looks into the
dead letters bureau at the U.S. Postal Service.
Returning comedy My Boys is back on TBS starting
July 25. TNT is bringing back successful dramas Dark Blue, The Closer,
Rizzoli & Isles, HawthoRNe and Men of a Certain Age. (The Holly
Hunter drama Saving Grace comes to an end this summer.)
Men funnyman Ray Romano closed the upfront
appearing with his co-stars Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher and joking that
although his show may not attract the youngest demographic, he and his cast
were still going to "keep it real."
"So I'm gonna get a rash and you're gonna get a
groin pull," he said to Braugher.