Lots of changes are coming to late night over the next year, but not at TBS: Conan O’Brien has just signed up to stay with the cable network through 2018. TBS will announce the three-year extension of O’Brien’s contract at its upfront presentation this morning, barely a year after its April 2013 announcement that it had signed the former host through late 2015. By locking in O’Brien for so long, it’s clear TBS is trying to make a statement about its long-term commitment to the host. ABC made a similar move last week, when it signed up Jimmy Kimmel through early 2017. While Conan has a smaller audience than its broadcast rivals, the show does better among viewers under 35 than Late Show With David Letterman, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Chelsea Handler and Andy Cohen’s shows. “We couldn’t have asked for a better late-night host or a more enthusiastic ambassador for the TBS brand,” TBS/TNT/TCM programming chief Michael Wright said in the press release for the deal.
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