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Conan O’Brien Turns His Back On Fox; Makes Surprising Deal With TBS

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In a move that nobody expected, Conan O’Brien announced today that TBS, not Fox, will be his new late night home come November. He released this statement:

In three months I’ve gone from network television to Twitter to performing live in theaters, and now I’m headed to basic cable. My plan is working perfectly.

He also took to his Twitter account, saying:

The good news: I will be doing a show on TBS starting in November! The bad news: I’ll be playing Rudy on the all new Cosby Show.

Many thought that O’Brien would surely be heading to the Fox network, as he had been in negotiations with them since his departure from The Tonight Show on NBC. There were a couple of key things that killed that deal. Some affiliates complained that ratings were already just fine with reruns of Seinfeld. The whole “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality. That made Fox a bit nervous.  The network was reluctant to give O’Brien the deal he wanted.

Then TBS stepped in. The LA Times reports that the cable “superstation” signed O’Brien on for five years, as well as offering him part ownership. That means that he has the potential to make a lot more money (as if he didn’t have enough already from his NBC exit deal). The new show will debut this November in the 10pmC/11pmE time slot. No details yet on what the show will exactly be.

Although George Lopez currently holds that time slot with Lopez Tonight, the comedian says that he’s happy to move to midnight and have O’Brien as his lead-in. Apparently, he has already dubbed the block as “Lo-Co.” If only Jay Leno had been that gracious.

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