TBS’s face of comedy Conan O’Brien has been assured two more years at what O’Brien fondly describes as a basic cable network.
He is guaranteed a spot for his talk show at 11 p.m. until at least April, 2014. O’Brien joined TBS in November 2010 after a tumultuously brief stay on “The Tonight Show” on NBC. Team CoCo rallied around him after NBC ousted him and he happily landed on TBS.
Though ratings weren’t quite as large as TBS executives had hoped, they have touted the youth of his audience (average age: 32) and how he was able to parlay his appeal through social media, mobile, DVR and online in general. (With 5 million, he has more Twitter followers than any other late-night host.) And ratings are up lately, partly thanks to a stronger 10 p.m. lead in three nights a week: “The Big Bang Theory.”
Lately, O’Brien has been regularly drawing more than 1 million viewers a night. Last season, it was more like 800,000 viewers.
“We are proud to be in business with Conan O’Brien for the long run,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM), in a press release. “Night after night, Conan and his team have put together terrific shows that draw a young and fiercely loyal audience. As if that weren’t enough, they have also built a dynamic online presence that keeps fans engaged like no other show in late night.”
Added Conan: This means I’ll be taping episodes of CONAN well into the Ron Paul presidency.”
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk