Injury sends Conan O'Brien to hospital

Production halted as host hit head in Friday stunt

LOS ANGELES — Conan O'Brien hit his head during a stunt for the "Tonight Show" on Friday and the production was halted, NBC said.

O'Brien was being examined Friday at a hospital. The network declined comment on his condition or whether he had been released.

O'Brien issued a statement through NBC that indicated he was treating the incident lightly. "Last thing I remember I was enjoying the play with Mrs. Lincoln, and the next thing I knew I was in bed being served cookies and juice" O'Brien said in the statement.

The New York Times reported Friday that the incident forced NBC to halt taping of the night's episode and broadcast a rerun instead. The report characterized the injury as a minor one that shouldn't keep O'Brien from returning to work Monday.

The 46-year-old comedian took over the "Tonight" host's job from Jay Leno in June.

O'Brien's accident recalled a rare absence by Leno that came toward the end of his 17 years with the show, when a high fever and unspecified illness caused him to check himself into a hospital for a day.

NBC canceled two episodes of "Tonight" when that occurred in May. Leno's new daily prime-time comedy show debuted this month.

There was no word from NBC on plans for next week's shows.

NBC's decision to remove the top-rated Leno from "Tonight" and replace him with O'Brien, hoping to draw a younger audience, put pressure on the new host's shoulders.

The network's creation of a daily prime-time series for Leno, displacing five hours of scripted shows, was another bold move.

Andrew Wallenstein contributed to this story.