TBS ‘Conan’ Not Moving to Weekly Format [UPDATE]
There’s been enough turnover in late-night over the last year that Conan O’Brien’s Conan has often turned to high-concept hours and trips to steer attention, having kept steady on TBS for several years. Now, a shakeup may see Conan shifted to a weekly format, akin to Full Frontal With Samantha Bee.
The Wrap reports that Turner CEO John Martin confirmed the revamp during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, adding that the series worked best with Conan doing remote shoots. No exact timetable was given for the revamp, though Martin apparently noted that the current late-night field is “just too crowded and competitive.”
UPDATE: Per The Hollywood Reporter, TBS boss Kevin Reilly denies the weekly claims, though certain other changes may emerge in the next few months:
Conan remains an invaluable franchise, partner and producer for our TBS brand and we’ll be in business with him for a long time. As the media landscape continues to evolve, Conan will continue to lead the evolution of what a talk show will be in the digital age. At this time, we have no plans to change the format or frequency of his popular TBS show. In addition to Conan’s daily responsibilities to his talk show, we continue to have very ambitious plans that will further broaden and evolve our relationship with Conan.
That’s a fair assessment, especially as the current crop of late-night hosts have struggled to find distinctive voices, especially with Stephen Colbert replacing David Letterman, or Trevor Noah replacing Jon Stewart at The Daily Show. Political voices like Samantha Bee and John Oliver also understandably drew viewers over the course of 2016’s election, while Conan’s most eye-catching material has taken the host to Cuba, Europe, Comic-Con and other locales.
We’ll see when the change finally takes place, but will a reduced run of Conan strengthen what shows we have? Stay tuned.