NBC Confirms Conan O'Brien's Late Night Exit
While NBC wouldn't reveal details on the deal, but two sources close to the deal said that O'Brien would receive $32.5 million and his staff would receive $12 million. O'Brien will end his run on Friday and will be "free to pursue other opportunities after September 1."
The deal brings to an end the turmoil between the network, O'Brien and Leno that started when the network announced it was ending its primetime experiment of The Jay Leno Show after affiliates were reporting significant decreases in local news programs.
Here are the official statements from the network and Conan O'Brien.
NBC and Conan O'Brien have reached a resolution of the issues surrounding O'Brien's contract to host The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.
Under terms of an agreement that was signed earlier today, NBC and O'Brien will settle their contractual obligations and the network will release O'Brien from his contract, freeing him to pursue other opportunities after September 1, 2010.
O'Brien will make his final appearance as host of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien on January 22.
NBC's statement on Jay Leno's return to The Tonight Show:
NBC confirmed today that popular late-night host Jay Leno will return to host The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from 11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. (ET) beginning March 1, 2010 and that Late Night with Jimmy Fallon will continue to be broadcast from 12:35-1:35 a.m. (ET). The announcements were made by Jeff Gaspin, Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment.
"We're pleased that Jay is returning to host the franchise that he helmed brilliantly and successfully for many years," said Gaspin. "He is an enormous talent, a consummate professional and one of the hardest-working performers on television."
Leno previously hosted The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from May 1992-May 2009. The program will continue to showcase many of the features that made Leno America's late-night leader for more than a dozen years.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is from Big Dog Productions in association with Universal Media Studios. Debbie Vickers is the executive producer.