US TV host Conan O'Brien rejects NBC's offer to switch his show's time slot

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Conan O'Brien in 2007
Image: John J. Kruzel/American Forces Press Service.

On Tuesday, United States television personality Conan O'Brien announced in a statement that he will no longer serve as the host for NBC's The Tonight Show if the network's attempt to move his program to the post-midnight time slot comes to fruition.

This move, NBC has said, would be done to accommodate the return of the previous Tonight Show host, Jay Leno, back to late-night from his current prime-time slot.

In a long statement to the media, O'Brien states that NBC has given him a "scant" seven months to establish himself as host of The Tonight Show.

He continues to say that with his show still in "its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule."

O'Brien adamantly declares that "delaying The Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting."

Citing his view that NBC's purposed switch of The Tonight Show time slot could lead to the show's ultimate "destruction," O'Brien maintains that he would have no other choice than to step down as host—which could also include his possible move to another cable network—if this does in fact happen.


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