‘Conan’ Is Becoming a Half-Hour Show in 2019
Big changes are coming to TBS’ Conan. One year after rumors the series would shrink to a weekly format, TBS and Conan O’Brien now confirm the series will instead air four nights a week as a half-hour series, while expanding Team Coco’s focus on digital and live content.
TBS branded the move as “an expanded partnership spanning television, digital, social and live events that will enable the late night icon to capitalize and interact with his multi-generational fan base across platforms.” The retooled Conan will feature “a new, less structured 30-minute format that will have guests and a variety of segments drawn from the newly expanded Team Coco portfolio.” The expansion also includes talent deals with stand-up comedians and a multi-city tour later this year, while O’Brien said of the news:
Since I inherited my Late Night show in 1993, TV has changed exponentially. I’d like to think I have evolved with many of these changes, but now it’s time to take the next leap. A half-hour show will give me the time to do a higher percentage of the comedy in, and out, of the studio that I love and that seems to resonate in this new digital world. It’s still going to be me hosting a very silly show, but I want segments on my half-hour program to link to digital content, deepening the experience for my younger fans, and confusing my older ones.
Last year saw rumors swirling Conan might change its format, of which TBS boss Kevin Reilly acknowledged that some shift would take place eventually. Conan isn’t a huge ratings winner, but does well online with the comedian’s trips to international destinations like Cuba, Berlin and South Korea. As such, the brand will continue to develop hour-long Conan Without Borders specials.
The change won’t take effect until 2019, but will O’Brien have less presence as a half-hour Conan?
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