Team Coco has emerged victorious from the last several months' war of the television networks. Conan O'Brien, booted from his late-night timeslot on NBC to make room for flip-flopper Jay Leno and his reclaimed stake on The Tonight Show, has resiliently rebounded from his slap in the face from NBC, and he's out to prove his humor will outlast the politics behind TV networks.
O'Brien declared his loyalty to TBS during the second week of April, announcing he'd be taking the 11 p.m. timeslot on the basic cable channel this fall. This decision goes against previous predictions that had O'Brien pegged to join broadcast network Fox, and it's a choice that seems to be puzzling for the mainstream American audience. O'Brien's choice to ditch broadcast networks and go back to basic cable all but ensures that rival Jay Leno will continue to rake in the biggest late-night audiences, but it will also test Coco's loyal viewers in a move that could outlast his rivals.
After the network wars that have raged on for months now, Team Coco seems to have a solid crew of allies in favor of changing the face of late-night television. O'Brien has easily won over the younger crowd of late-night TV watchers, and he's sure to snag huge audiences no matter what network his late-night talk show airs on. TBS, which currently houses the late-night show Lopez Tonight as well as laugh-catchers like Family Guy and The Office, could provide the perfect outlet for Conan O'Brien's signature brand of comedy, and the best part of all (for O'Brien, anyway) is that he wasn't forced to go on contract with his show, instead allowed to keep full ownership of his program.
Conan O'Brien icons like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and the Masturbating Bear have been buried along with O'Brien's career at NBC, but the flame-haired comedian will surely come up with new signature segments in his forthcoming stint on TBS. In the meantime, O'Brien continues to jet around the country on his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour, which has him out from behind his mahogany desk and onto stages across the nation on part of a current stand-up comedy tour.
Taking his signature brand of sarcastic humor and biting wit with him on the road, Conan O'Brien and his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour have brought laughter back into North American venues, kicking off the nationwide jaunt in mid-April in Eugene, Ore. and selling Conan O'Brien tickets like crazy for the engagement. O'Brien's stand-up tour is a precursor of sorts for his next venture as TBS funny guy, and no material is off limits as the Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour runs through the summer months during O'Brien's legal absence from TV.
Conan O'Brien's messy break-up with NBC earlier this year is only a bump in the road for one of America's most popular comedians, and even without the backing of broadcast networks, O'Brien will continue to conquer the late-night circuit with his unrelenting charm and never-ending humor. TBS has just inherited a gold mine, and it's safe to say that Conan O'Brien is officially back (as if he was ever gone?).
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