TBS is shaking up Conan O’Brien’s late-night show. Conan will still air four nights a week on the network, but starting in 2019, each episode will only be 30 minutes long. The change will happen in conjunction with the network making a bigger commitment to digital content from O’Brien, and expanding his partnership with the network to include signing talent deals with stand-up comics, who will go on live tours and create web material of their own. On a media call this afternoon, O’Brien said he hopes to keep the comedy ratio high on his new 30-minute format, meaning that he will likely have few celebrity guests on each episode.
The host stressed that come January 1, you won’t find him opening his revamped show “in a tight-fitting leather body suit and spinning through the air and there’s no guests and there’s nothing behind him and he’s in a clear blue gel.” He didn’t have structural details to share about what the show will look like yet, instead saying he has used the lead-up to the announcement — and will use the remainder of the year — to play with new ideas, while still incorporating popular features from the current show like Clueless Gamer and Conan Without Borders. In the lead-up to the relaunch, O’Brien will also be debuting a website that incorporates much of the material he’s produced across 25 years in late night. It’s expected to go live in the fall.