The Week: Most Recent Television:The New Improved Conan recent posts.en-usFri, 19 Aug 2011 12:31:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Television:The New Improved Conan from THE WEEKFri, 19 Aug 2011 12:31:00 -0400Conan O'Brien's career flop: By the numbers<img src="" /></P><p>TBS's great red hope is tanking. A new <em>Wall Street Journal</em> report on the network's late-night talk show, <em>Conan</em>, details just how big an investment its hiring of host Conan O'Brien has been &mdash; and just how poorly that investment has paid off this past year. And TBS's "Conan O'Brien experiment" is about to get even more expensive. Here's a statistical breakdown of this 11 pm flop:<br /><br /><strong>$12 million</strong><br />Amount per year O'Brien earns as part of his deal with TBS. His hiring was hailed as the "next land of opportunity" by network executives, says Lauren A.E. Schuker at <em>The Wall Street Journal</em><br /><br /><strong>60 </strong><br />Percent by...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 19 Aug 2011 12:31:00 -0400It's time for Conan to get over NBC<img src="" /></P><p>Conan O'Brien's fraught exit from NBC almost a year ago still weighs all-too-heavily on his mind, writes Laura Bennett in <em>The New Republic</em>. Indeed, a month into his new talk show on cable station TBS, he's still peppering his nightly chatter with references to the network that ousted him from "The Tonight Show." This "slide into chronic self-referentiality" is not only "patently offensive," given his massive, $30 million payoff from NBC, it's turning Conan into a terrible late-night host, argues Bennett. Here's an excerpt:</p><p ><strong>When O'Brien riffs on his diminished paycheck</strong> or the lowbrow nature...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 06 Dec 2010 11:15:00 -0500Can Conan keep beating Leno in the ratings?<img src="" /></P><p>Conan O'Brien had a triumphant debut on Monday night. His new TBS talk show, "Conan," pulled in 4.3 million viewers, while just 3.5 million tuned into his nemesis Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" on NBC. O'Brien also "towered over" David Letterman, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert, whose shows pulled in 3.4, 1.3, and 1 million respectively. That said, preliminary numbers for O'Brien's follow-up show &mdash; on Tuesday night &mdash; suggest that "Coco was king for just a day." His ratings fell by a third, placing him below Leno and Letterman, but not Stewart. (Watch a Fox Business discussion about Conan...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 10 Nov 2010 15:41:00 -0500Conan's 'modest' debut<img src="" /></P><p>Conan O'Brien returned to television last night with the premiere of his new TBS show, <em>Conan</em>, interviewing <em>Knocked Up </em>star Seth Rogen<em></em> and <em>Glee</em> actress Lea Michele, and even jamming with musician Jack White. Despite months of build-up and huge ratings, critics almost unanimously agreed that <em>Conan</em> was too "modest" in scope, relying on the traditional format of other late-night shows instead of forging a new path. Did that make for hilarity or just a ho-hum hour of television? (Watch Conan's first monologue)</p><p><strong>O'Brien played things too safe:</strong> If Conan is going to succeed at TBS, says Linda Holmes at...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 09 Nov 2010 16:15:00 -0500Will Conan's new show flop?<img src="" /></P><p>Conan O'Brien is making his long-anticipated return to late night with tonight's premiere of his new TBS show, "Conan." In one of the "more public bitter exits in recent memory," the lanky comedian left NBC last January after it abruptly asked O'Brien to cede his "Tonight Show" hosting duties to Jay Leno. Since then, O'Brien has launched the wildly successful "Team Coco" online campaign, arguably raising his profile. Can his new show &mdash; on a cable station, not a broadcast network &mdash; live up to expectations? (Watch Conan's "Show Zero" promo)</p><p><strong>Maybe, but he's really competing with Jon...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 08 Nov 2010 12:43:00 -0500Conan's first week of guests: Enough star power?<img src="" /></P><p>The highly anticipated guest list for the first week of Conan O'Brien's new TBS show has been announced. When "Conan" debuts November 8, his talking partners will include actor Seth Rogen, musician Jack White, and the winner of an online vote, likely Jack Nicholson. As the week unfolds, Tom Hanks, Jon Hamm, Soundgarden, Julie Bowen ("Modern Family"), Michael Cera, and others will stop by. (See a complete list here.) Is the list sufficiently irresistible to help Conan compete with Leno and Letterman in his new cable channel home? (Watch a promo for "Conan.") Commentators spout off:</p><p><strong>It's a good...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 21 Oct 2010 16:28:00 -0400Conan O'Brien unveils his new show's name: First reactions<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The video:</strong> Via a YouTube video, first posted by <em>New York</em> magazine, Conan O'Brien has announced the name of his upcoming TBS show, which premieres November 8, roughly 10 months after O'Brien was forced out of NBC's "Tonight Show." The acclaimed wit and wordsmith (a former writer for "The Simpsons") says that, after much agony, he's decided to christen his new effort simply "Conan": "I've spent millions of dollars, I've had media research companies, we've had thousands of people working around the clock, and we have got it."<strong><br />The reaction: </strong>"Really?" says Dave Itzkoff in <em>The New York Times</em>, "Just...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 01 Sep 2010 13:26:00 -0400Did Conan 'lie' on '60 Minutes'?<img src="" /></P><p>Media pundits went into an analytical frenzy after Conan O'Brien carefully castigated his treatment by NBC on "60 Minutes," saying that the network forced him off the "Tonight Show" (with a $32.5 million severance) because firing Jay Leno would have been more expensive. NBC itself did not respond to the charge &mdash; until yesterday. According to TMZ, an unnamed network source has accused the red-headed funnyman of "lying." Here's what the blogosphere is saying: (Watch Conan's "60 Minutes" interview.)</p><p><strong>This could breach Conan's contract: </strong>This isn't over yet, says Zennie Abrahams in the <em>San Francisco...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 05 May 2010 11:47:00 -0400Conan on '60 Minutes': Big mistake?<img src="" /></P><p>In a much-debated "60 Minutes" interview, Conan O'Brien opened up about his treatment by NBC during the "Late Night wars." Bearded, weary, and (some say) all too evidently bitter, the abruptly deposed host of NBC's "The Tonight Show," talked about his very public January feud with both the network and Jay Leno, who reclaimed his old job after O'Brien was forced out. Was Conan's "60 Minutes" performance a strategic error? (Watch Conan's "60 Minutes" interview)<br /><br /><strong>Quit your whining, Conan:</strong> O'Brien projected "the wrong image, at the wrong time," says Andrew Wallenstein at <em></em>. "Displaying zero of...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 03 May 2010 10:44:00 -0400Conan O'Brien's TBS deal: Good move?<img src="" /></P><p>In a move that has taken nearly everyone by surprise, former "Tonight Show" host Conan O'Brien will make his return to television on cable channel TBS. The as-yet-unnamed show will air at 11 p.m. and debut in November, pushing back "Lopez Tonight," hosted by George Lopez, to midnight. Prior to the announcement, conventional wisdom held that O'Brien would sign with Fox. In a press release, O'Brien joked that, "In three months I&rsquo;ve gone from network television to Twitter to performing live in theaters, and now I&rsquo;m headed to basic cable. My plan is working perfectly." But what do critics...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 12 Apr 2010 18:10:00 -0400The latest Tweets on 'Conan O'Brien'</P><div class="twitterBlock"></div> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 13 Apr 2010 12:13:00 -0400