Conan O’Brien and Fox are getting closer to completing a deal to bring the floppy-haired host back to TV, but concerns from affiliates may derail the entire thing, The Hollywood Reporter says tonight.
Fox has already gotten concessions from Conan’s camp, including an agreement to cut his salary and lower production costs. But Conan is insisting that Fox guarantee that all stations across the country will air his show. This requires consent from the affiliates, who are hesitant because they will lose money if they have to replace episodes of Seinfeld and The Simpsons with a talk show.
There are a few other sticking points in the negotiations, including Conan’s desire to own the show rather than work as an employee for Fox, and to have it start at 11 p.m., 35 minutes before Letterman and Leno. But those issues will likely be settled easily and the only thing standing in the way of the world once again enjoying Conan’s stupid little dances will be those evil affiliates.