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By Nellie Andreeva
He has become the most famous out-of-work American.
Save for a few weeks of vacation after he signed off Jan. 22 as
“Tonight Show” host, Conan O’Brien has stayed in the news. First,
he launched a Twitter account, then came the announcement of his
40-city comedy tour, and now attention has shifted to what he will
do next on TV.
The camp of the late-night host has engaged with Fox, long
considered the most logical new TV home for O’Brien, whose
sensibility is in sync with that network’s core young-male
But talks are in preliminary stages, and the two sides have not
been in communication the past two weeks.
Still, a late-night show on Fox remains a viable option for O’Brien
that has wide support at the network, starting with toppers Peter
Rice and Kevin Reilly. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch had said
publicly that he would back the idea if it makes money.
To do so, a Fox late-night show would have to trim significantly
the $50 million-plus annual budget that “The Tonight Show With
Conan O’Brien” had at NBC, in addition to the host’s eight-figure
Fox reportedly has presented O’Brien with a framework for a deal,
but it is said to have included no numbers.
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