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Arts and Entertainment

TV Junkie: It's All About Conan

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What could be more important tonight than the debut of Conan O'Brien's new show, "Conan," on TBS at 11pm. Books have literally been written in to tell the story of how O'Brien got to this point in his career. Sure he's got Seth Rogen and Jack White guesting but they're not the reason to tune in tonight. It's no surprise that Letterman and Leno have lined up some heavy hitters as guests, from Han Solo to The Terminator but they won't hold a candle to Conan's storming of the late night airwaves.

There has to be some satisfaction at Team Coco that Leno has struggled recently to even reach the numbers that O'Brien had before he was let go because he was"an astounding failure" according to Dick Ebersol, the NBC executive who lost almost a quarter of a billion dollars on the Vancouver Winter Olympics - an event that was profitable for most other networks worldwide. We've written about some challenges facing O'Brien, such as the fact that a large portion of potential viewers don't even know where TBS is on their cable box, but that's being addressed by providing full episodes on the Team Coco website and it's on the web via Twitter and Facebook that O'Brien has not only maintained contact with existing fans but has broadened his fan base, arguably.

But the topics of being on TBS, airing at 11pm, and the Twitter/Facebook efforts seem to be secondary. The fact remains that if Conan doesn't have the writing and comedy, his show will fail. He needs to demonstrate that he can carry and expand an audience beyond any first-week spike in interest. We don't think that will be too difficult: have you seen Leno and Letterman lately? Will he make inroads against the fake news of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert? If O'Brien can stay edgy, and cable provides more than enough leeway for that.

If you'd like to find out who the guests this week will be, check out the above video where a pair of puppets in a stairwell announce them.
I'm very happy to see that Amy Sedaris will be making a guest appearance on Fox's "Raising Hope". Jason Lee will also make a guest spot. Some of our favorite actors on what is the best of Fox's 2011 Fall offerings.
Here's a great little video of Jonathan Ames explaining a lot of the action in last night's "Bored To Death" and his creator's blog post today is as scintillating as usual.
Another great episode of Showtime's "The Big C" is on tonight - check out our interview video we did with the stars at their event at the Paley Center for Media in NYC.
The TV Junkie Plan: "The Event," "Weeds," "The Big C," "Conan" (Seth Rogan, Jack White), Ferguson (Tom Selleck, Myq Kaplan)

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8:30pm Rules of Engagement CBS - Audrey and Jeff choose a surrogate; Russell's mother (Joan Collins) visits.

9:00pm The Event NBC - Sterling becomes suspicious of the people close to him; Sophia prepares Thomas and the rest of the detainees for the next part of their mission; Madeline (Paula Malcomson) helps Sean look for answers.

9:00pm Lie to Me Fox - When Lightman investigates an explosion that killed six coal miners, he suspects foul play may be involved and goes below the surface

9:00-10pm In Treatment HBO - Sunil recounts his first impressions of Julia, but becomes defensive when Paul mentions jealousy / Frances' fractured relationship with Patricia is traced to their late mother.

9:55pm Hawaii Five-0 CBS - When Danny's ex-partner is found dead at a Hawaiian luau the Five-0 team's investigation leads them to some dirty cops and a powerful cocaine cartel.

10:00pm Weeds Showtime - Nancy talks with Vaughn while the family scrambles for passports; Doug takes a risk.

10:00pm Castle ABC - While investigating a subway worker's murder in Central Park, Castle and Beckett unexpectedly uncover a nefarious plot

10:30pm The Big C Showtime - Everything That Rises

11:00pm Conan TBS - Actor Seth Rogan; Jack White performs.

11:00pm Chelsea Lately E! - YouTube sensation Keenan Cahill.

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11:35pm Late Show With David Letterman CBS - Actor Harrison Ford; Cee Lo Green performs.

11:35pm The Tonight Show With Jay Leno NBC - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.); N.E.R.D. performs.

12:00am Lopez Tonight TBS - Musician Janet Jackson.

12:05am Jimmy Kimmel Live ABC - Neil Diamond performs.

12:35am The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson CBS - Actor Tom Selleck; comic Myq Kaplan.

12:35am Late Night With Jimmy Fallon NBC - Actress Scarlett Johansson; writer Chris Morris; Toots and the Maytals perform.

Previously: The Pale Whale Crashes Your TV Tonight: CONAN Premieres On TBS