TBS Renews Conan Through 2014
The last few years have been pretty crazy for Conan O'Brien. From leaving Late Night to take over the Tonight Show, to being bumped off the air because of Jay Leno's failures and being forced to stay off for the better part of a year, to finally settling down on US cable network TBS, things have been understandably tumultuous for the late night comedian.
But Conan has seemingly finally settled down in his role anchoring the TBS line-up, and the network has rewarded him. It was announced today that "Conan" will continue its run on the network through 2014.
“I am excited to continue my run with TBS because they have been fantastic partners,” said in a statement. He added, in his usual sarcastic self, “this means I’ll be taping episodes of Conan well into the Ron Paul presidency.”
Conan premiered in November 2010 to monster ratings, but soon settled down to modest ratings that more resemble those of a cable show. Lately, the show has been averaging about 1.1 million viewers, with around 700,000 in the 18-49 demographic, an impressive share of the ratings even if the total viewers are low (albeit up nearly 30% from the fall). So, even if a lot of people aren't watching live, Conan's show is attractive to advertisers, and that's definitely important to TBS. Moreover, Conan's website, Team Coco, registers millions upon millions of hits a month, and that has to add to his profitability. It may not seem like it in a day and age where Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are handily beating him nightly and even giving Leno and Letterman a run for their money, ratings wise, but Conan's actually doing pretty well, all things considered.
I'm pretty much a nightly viewer, but it has to be admitted that this isn't the same Conan you might remember from Late Night. This Conan has been through a lot, and it shows. But among a flurry of hosts that basically do the same thing night in and night out, Conan is usually one of the better options. So while we're stuck with him on a low budget TBS show for the foreseeable future, let's hope a continued good run will eventually lead him back to a more high-profile spot on the networks.