Friday, August 26, 2011

Conan the Underwhelming (Too)

And speaking of Conans underperforming relative to expectations, there's also the sad story of Conan O'Brien, whose very public split with his former network and subsequent feud with Tonight Show hosting predecessor/successor Jay Leno birthed the online "I'm With Coco" movement and held the promise of elevating the ratings fortunes of whichever net he ended up at. Well, it's been nearly a year since Conan O'Brien's TBS talker Conan debuted, and things haven't quite panned out as well as they (and he) no doubt hoped, with a fast start followed quickly by a fizzle that's already led to his fellow TBS host George Lopez's late night show getting axed -- a possible portent of what may happen to his own show before too long.

Speaking as a longtime fan, the one thing I can say about Conan's current skein is that he's out there every night trying his best, and can always be counted on to bring the funny, but his lack of access (either because of personal choice or threat of litigation) to some of his funniest, most signature bits ("In the Year 3000," to name one) has really hamstrung him, and for whatever reason the new show just doesn't have the spark that either Late Night or Tonight did during his tenure. As The Week breaks down TBS' Conan O'Brien experiment by the numbers, you start wondering if the decision to bolt NBC rather than let them push his Tonight Show back to accomodate a half hour of Leno was a smart move in the long run.

Looking at those financial and ratings figures, I'm not so sure.

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