The Hollywood Reporter did a cover story on Conan O’Brien for their next issue and it appears that he’s doing great. Conan’s departure from the Tonight Show was one of the most talked about show business conflicts ever and it took a major toll on Conan; however, now two years later, Conan has found a perfect home at TBS and TBS has found their perfect face for the network. It took awhile to find an audience and get decent ratings, but for Conan and TBS it’s about more than who watches when the episode first airs. Conan put it:
What we are trying to do is a mosaic; you can’t really see the whole picture until you back up. At NBC, we were a small comedy club on a cruise ship. At TBS, we’re masters of our own pirate ship. It’s about so much more than who watches the show at 11 p.m. Who watches it at 1 a.m.? Who watches the clip online the next day? Who sees the ad with that clip? This is where it’s all going, so let’s get ahead of it rather than pretend it’s still about America gathering around the TV to watch Roots or Ed Sullivan. That simply isn’t the case anymore.
Subsequently, TBS has done a great job finding ways to generate big ad dollars from those unconventional means. And Turner is just happy to be in the Conan business, even spending an outlandish $1.5 million an episode for Big Bang Theory reruns to act as the perfect lead in (more like Big BUCKS Theory). Beyond Conan, Conan’s production company is working with the network on a bunch of new shows like Deon Cole’s Black Box. After having some distance from the whole Tonight Show thing, this really does seem like the ideal situation for Conan. Obviously, he is a brilliant comedian and great host but TBS is giving him the chance to create beyond the hour he’s on air. It’s a surprising happy ending.