Conan O’Brien has a spine and he knows how to use it. The Tonight Show host has officially rejected NBC’s offer to move his show to a post-midnight time slot to accommodate Jay Leno’s return to late-night, saying “I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is [The Tonight Show’s] destruction.” Go Conan!
NBC wants to move “The Jay Leno Show,” which was just canceled, out of prime-time and into the 11:35 p.m. EST daily slot currently occupied by Conan’s show. This would move “The Tonight Show” to 12:05 p.m. EST.
But Conan isn’t buying it. In a statement he released on Tuesday, he criticizes NBC for allowing him a mere seven months to try to establish himself as host of “Tonight” and also talks about refusing to bump Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night show into an even later time slot.”That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.”
Can you blame the guy? After moving wife Liza and kids Neve, 6, and Beckett, 4 across the country – not to mention his entire crew – he’s probably smart to reject NBC’s offer. But I wouldn’t bet on this being the end of the story – the late night wars have taken some pretty crazy twists and turns in the past.
Read the entire text of Conan’s statement here.