After Johnny Carson's retirement from the show, Jay Leno stepped in as his permanent replacement. The format of the show has remained largely unchanged, consisting primarily of an opening ... See full summary »
David Letterman hosted this popular late-night comedy/talk-show. Often, Dave would go on location or to the phone lines to play pranks. Some famous features of the show include the "Top Ten... See full summary »
Satirical newscaster Stephen Colbert provides humorous commentary on the big issues going on in the United States and the rest of the world, with his larger-than-life ego and overly-patriotic spirit along with him every step of the way.
Lorne Michaels has a novel marketing idea. Put a guy on TV who has never been seen by the public, and he promoted the first Conan show exactly like this. Michaels set very low expectations including having Conan seen riding a bicycle in New York street traffic. It got so, when you didn't know what was part of the act of lowered expectations, and when he simply wasn't able to delivery on a funny and entertaining show left to him by David Letterman when went to CBS. Conan tried a few skits, mostly immature high school level comedy that never hit it's mark. If you stayed up that late in those days you had little choice to watch anything on TV except Conan. Each time, you always hoped it would turn into the show which David Letterman left behind, but it never did.
After Letterman left NBC, NBC never recovered from the embarrassment and the loss in revenue from it. In a very typical brilliant agent move, Conan demanded the Tonight Show from Leno to take it in 5 years or he too would leave the network just like Letterman did. The execs at NBC went into a panic and agreed to this, simply not to repeat their mistakes of the past. It was entirely a bad move though. Conan was no David Letterman, and most certainly never for an instant had earned a chance at the Tonight Show. But the execs at NBC couldn't back out on it now. Conan took over and the ratings simply fell, and so did advertising revenue and for the first time since the history of the Tonight Show it was losing money.
Not wanting to look like they have had a huge mistake, they decided to move Conan back to his old time slot and have Leno take over the 11:35 PM time slot. The had writing was on the wall, Conan was in trouble and he knew it. He had no place else to go. In order to safe face Conan came up with a story which slackers could related to that he was leaving the Tonight Show. Of course, he was doing so with millions of dollars in his pocket. The poor staff who left their homes, friends and families in New York City area followed him to the the West Coast only to find themselves out of a job. While getting a typical severance agreement for the employees not unlike any larger corporate employer would offer, they were still out of work and very soon.
TBS had nothing to lose. They were mostly a forgotten network amongst the sea of thousands of cable channels. It was worth it for them to pay whatever small amount they came up with for Conan to do a show there, just to get the publicity and remind the public that TBS was still there. Even if Conan failed, it would take a while and meanwhile they would attract a new audience to watch the other shows on their cable channel.
The TBS show is the same lame attempt at entertainment that Conan had been doing for years which led to his failure on the Tonight Show. When experienced producers and advisors tried to help Conan do the Tonight Show properly, he refused their help thinking he knew better. He ignored the sound advice of seasoned professionals.
For those high schoolers who enjoyed Conan, they should set their DVRs up to watch the show now before it too fades away without notice.
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