Conan O’Brien, in his first interview since he left the “Tonight Show,” said he would not have done what Jay Leno did, precipitating his departure.
“He went and took the show back and I think in a similar situation, if roles had been reversed,” said O’Brien, who talked to Steve Kroft on “60 Minutes” in an interview set to air on Sunday. “I know– I know me, I wouldn’t have done that. If I had surrendered ‘The Tonight Show’ and handed it over to somebody publicly and wished them well — and then… six months later. But that’s me, you know. Everyone’s got their own, you know, way of doing things.”
O’Brien said he would have just done something else.
After NBC’s 10 p.m. experiment with Leno failed due to affiliate rebellion and low ratings earlier this y ear, execs offered an 11:35 p.m. slot to Leno that would push O’Brien’s show to 12:05 a.m. O’Brien refused and negotiated a major exit deal.
This all came from a CBS press release. I’m sure he will talk about the TBS deal as well. I’ll blog about it on Sunday evening.