TV Junkie: Thank You Conan O'Brien
Tonight marks the last broadcast of Conan O'Brien on "Late Night..." and what a ride it's been. From being a virtual unknown in front of the camera, O'Brien is now a staple of late night television. O'Brien's resurrection of NBC's "Late Night" after the departure of David Letterman to CBS was not easy and the first few years were very tenuous ones for the wild haired funnyman. With support from Lorne Michaels, O'Brien was given enough time to build an audience, something almost unheard of these days.What's been great about O'Brien's ascent is that he's kept it weird, something that has made his show more interesting than the milquetoasty shows in the earlier time slots. When we heard that Jay Leno was, in fact, not being removed from NBC but instead was being given a 10pm time slot, we decried NBC's lack of commitment to Conan - they were too afraid of losing their core of aging Midwesterners. While we question the revenue loss from removing 5 hours of drama programming per week that could be put into syndication, we realize that this is a boon for... Conan O'Brien.
With Leno ensconced in a 10pm slot on NBC, old farts in Kansas can watch Jay before the 11 o'clock news and get to bed earlier. This will allow O'Bren to stay weird - he was never going to get the hardcore conservatives that Leno panders to and we hope he takes advantage of this opportunity to push America to the limit. Welcome back to Los Angeles Conan, we hope you stay a lot longer this time!
The TV Junkie Plan: Tonight - "Mistresses", "Monk", Bill Maher, Letterman, Conan. Saturday - "Aisha Tyler is Lit: Live at the Fillmore". Sunday - The Oscars, "Big Love", "Flight of the Conchords", "Secret Diary of a Call Girl"
[Full listings after the jump]