Conan O'Brien Mulls Post The Tonight Show Options
Conan O'Brien will air his very last episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien tonight, but it seems he will rebound just fine. The only question is where. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that, while O'Brien can't "pursue other opportunities" until September 1, there are several networks interested in O'Brien's services.
Fox still remains to be the front-runner, as they've been wanting to get into the late-night game for many years now and O'Brien's popularity with younger viewers fits right in with Fox's core audience. It was also said that another option would be with Fox's cable arm FX, which could air O'Brien's show at 11 and then possibly move the show to Fox later, since there would have to be extensive discussions with the network's affiliates for a late-night move.
It was also said that, while formal discussions haven't started yet, other networks like USA, TNT, TBS, Comedy Central, HBO and Showtime have sent out feelers regarding bringing an O-Brien-hosted late-night show to their network.
O'Brien's The Tonight Show legacy came to an end on early Thursday morning with a $56.5 million payout to O'Brien and his staff, $33 million of which went directly to O'Brien. It was said that payouts to his staff, which were apparently higher than the industry standard, were also bolstered by checks O'Brien himself made out to his staff.
"He just wants to make sure they are taken care of," said Gavin Polone, O'Brien's manager.