3:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Conan O'Brien Inks New 4-Year Deal With TBS, 'Conan' to Remain Nightly (For Now)
Conan O'Brien isn't going anywhere.
Turner-owned TBS on Wednesday announced that O'Brien has signed a new four-year deal to remain with the cable network, thus extending his late-night talk show Conan for another four years through 2022.
Under the new pact, Conan will remain a nightly series — at least for now — as well as expand into digital, branded content, podcasting, mobile gaming, premium TV and live tours. The all-encompassing pact also includes a renewal of production company Conaco — which produces Conan, TBS scripted comedy People of Earth as well as upcoming animated space comedy Final Space.
"Conan continues to prove his vibrancy night after night and his incredible command of the digital and social space has only built on his young, connected audience," said Kevin Reilly, president of TNT and TBS. "This next chapter will provide support for Conan and Jeff [Ross, Conan EP] to expand the boundaries from a 'talk show' to a range of personality-based, cross-platform experiences."
Said O'Brien: "The TV landscape has changed dramatically since I inherited the traditional talk show format in 1993. In the past few years I've stumbled across many new and exciting ways of connecting with my audience, and I’m eager to evolve my show into something leaner, more agile and more unpredictable. I also want a pony."
The news reaffirms that Conan will remain nightly — at least for now — but O'Brien's quote further indicates TBS' desire to expand the late-night host's brand and evolve the little-watched show. In January, Reilly told THR that he wanted TBS to capitalize on O'Brien's massive online following — which has included a number of viral videos as well as specials filmed on location across the globe.
"Television is going to continue to be a huge part of his presence, but you can also anticipate a series of announcements between now and the upfronts [in May] that will shed even more light on what we're talking about," said Reilly at the time. "It's is a distinct possibility that the show may evolve, but that's going to come from Conan as more of these things take shape. Between now and May, quite a few of them will be taking shape."
Conan has the youngest audience of any late-night series and has an equally impressive digital presence with more than 3.4 billion video views.