The Conan show has been at the forefront of many of the changes in late night over the last 10 years, and now it has been announced by Conan O'Brien and TBS that the show will go through a bit of an overhaul for 2019. The show will get whittled down from its hour-long episode format to 30 minutes, which will allow for a streamlined integration to the online content that Team Coco has been so successful with. While Conan doesn't have strong ratings on TV, his digital content is extremely popular, so the shift makes a lot of sense.
Streamlining the Conan show will also provide Conan O'Brien to tour more, which he plans to do and introduce the world to new comedians and artists. As for fans that are worried about Conan, the comedian still promises that the show will be just as silly as it has always been. Additionally, O'Brien jokes that he's "deepening the experience for my younger fans and confusing my older ones." He had this to say.
"Since I inherited my Late Night show in 1993, TV has changed exponentially. I'd like to think I have evolved with many of these changes, but now it's time to take the next leap. A half-hour show will give me the time to do a higher percentage of the comedy in, and out, of the studio that I love and that seems to resonate in this new digital world. It's still going to be me hosting a very silly show, but I want segments on my half-hour program to link to digital content, deepening the experience for my younger fans, and confusing my older ones."
Conan will still run four nights a week on TBS as usual, but the focus will be getting attention to the overhauled digital component. It has been reported that Team Coco has amassed over 3 billion views and that Conan has the youngest audience out of all of late night, so this trailblazing decision seems like one that many will jump on in the years to come. As mentioned previously, Conan O'Brien hopes to promote new comedians on his show, tours, and ever expanding digital content, which the comedian has compared to a Red Lobster of comedy.
The new announcement comes about a year after it was rumored that TBS wanted to bring Conan down to once a week. In actuality, it seems that talks of streamlining the show leaked prematurely while they were in the brainstorming process. Conan O'Brien has never been afraid to take a sudden left turn, and this is no different. With shorter episodes and a focus on the Team Coco brand online, O'Brien is just seemingly giving the fans what they want in a way that wasn't expected. You can read more about the new format of Conan over at The Hollywood Reporter.