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Fox’s entertainment president Kevin Reilly says Conan O’Brien’s talk show ratings on TBS will have a “decimal on the left side of the number.”
Reilly was making a joke of sorts at an HRTS luncheon in Beverly Hills on Wednesday when moderator (and Hollywood Reporter new hire) Kim Masters asked O’Brien’s attorney Leigh Brecheen what sort of numbers TBS expects from its new talent.
The Fox executive then clarified that though O’Brien’s number might be modest compared to broadcast, it would still be a good number for the cable universe (where even popular shows like Comedy Central’s “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” tend to draw around a 0.8 rating in the adult demo).
Fox was widely expected to land O’Brien as a late-night host after he left NBC, but concerns by affiliates kept a deal from gelling. Reilly added that had O’Brien gone to Fox, “there would have been an enormous amount of pressure to see the decimal on the right side.”
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