Conan O’Brien TBS ads have been running for weeks now. Of course, hype for the Conan O’Brien TBS premiere started months ago, when he first announced what his new network would be. Now, for the second time in just over a year, the late night host is starting anew, with a new time slot and a new show. However, since he is only sharing late night duties with George Lopez on this network, he may have more time to settle in. Yet the TBS debut comes under different circumstances, and with different expectations, than his Tonight Show period.
At 11 p.m. est, the former Late Night and Tonight Show host will be legally allowed to perform on television again. After escaping NBC, performing a comedy tour, and gaining a new home, he will now help a new network get into the late night wars.
Of course, the debut isn’t against Jay Leno or David Letterman. In fact, his new timeslot rivals may offer a greater challenge, as he goes up against Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert from 11 to 12. Fans of all three hosts stand to be flipping back and forth all night, unless they have a TiVo or DVR.
For the premiere of Conan,a new set will be unveiled, while Seth Rogen and Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum curator Arlene Wagner are said to be among the first guests. Andy Richter will be back by O’Brien’s side, although it may not be legally possible to bring back other Conan favorites.
Longtime fans are probably more excited to see O’Brien on TBS than on The Tonight Show. Even before the end came, there were complaints that he had toned down his usual off-kilter humor for the Tonight Show crowd. But with a new network and time slot, he may be his old self again with this latest program.
The stakes are high either way, as O’Brien has to start from scratch to become a late night fixture again. What’s more, he has to help turn TBS into a late-night power, as they hope that Conan and Lopez Tonight will become a formidable duo. However, most of their hopes are around their newest host.
The buildup for the premiere has included a Conan blimp for the baseball playoffs, and online exclusives on the Team Coco website. But tonight, the Conan O’Brien TBS era officially begins, with hopes that it will still last by mid-2011.
Conan will return to late night at his earliest time slot yet, at 11 p.m. est on TBS.
CNN.com- “Conan’s first guest: Curator of a nutcracker museum?”