NBC: O'Brien Reaches Tonight Show Exit Deal

NBC says it has reached a deal with "Tonight" host Conan O'Brien for his exit from the show, allowing Jay Leno to return to the late-night program he hosted for 17 years.

NBC made the announcement early Thursday that O'Brien will conclude his "Tonight" show run, seven months after O'Brien took the reins from Leno.

O'Brien landed the "Tonight" show after successfully hosting "Late Night," which airs an hour later, since 1993. But he quickly stumbled in the ratings race against his CBS rival, David Letterman.

Under Leno, the "Tonight" show was the ratings champ at 11:35 p.m. Eastern time, but he did not meet affiliate expectations with his experiment in prime time.


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  • by Jethro Bodine Location: New Bern on Jan 22, 2010 at 12:28 AM
    My girlfriend and I were at the turtle race last weekend. During the third lap, there was a speed trap set up (unbeknownst to the turtles). It was a laugh riot! The turtles didn't know what to think and I haven't had so much fun since Candid Camera went off the air.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 21, 2010 at 06:29 PM
    Anonymous at 7:00 PM please dont blow a head gasket.You may have a blood vessel pop in your head.Do not blame him,if you read correcttly NBC is setteling the deal.And by the way it is not HOLLYWOOD it is YANKEE NEW YORK!
  • by McArthur Park on Jan 21, 2010 at 04:29 PM
    Want to hear a good joke? O.K. here goes---Conan O'brien is hilarious!And he is a fantastic late show talk host. Have I got you laughing yet? This guy is about as funny as a speed trap during a turtle race. Hey, that was good, wasn't it? I will offer to take "Conad's" place for a lot less, and I assure you that the percentage that watch me will top that incompetent bonzo.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 21, 2010 at 04:00 PM
    Anyone who does not think this 'deal' is disgusting and an insult to Americans during this terrible time with the economy is ignorant. This man is ARROGANT. He should DONATE that money that he does not need to some charitable cause. SICK AND TIRED OF HOLLYWOOD THINKING THEY DERSERVE HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY FOR DOING NOTHING.
  • by Vance on Jan 21, 2010 at 03:04 PM
    David you raise a good question.I dont know but maybe it is cause these reporters work with affiliates that work with NBC.These reporters probably would not get severeance pay like this if they got fired.In other words thier bosses tell them what they can say so the reporters bite thier tongue if they are not a liberal.
  • by get it started Location: NC on Jan 21, 2010 at 02:55 PM
    See ya Conan now that your gone lets hope letterman will follow you and the late nite air will be alot better to watch. Glade to have you back Jay will miss you at 10:00.
  • by David Location: NC on Jan 21, 2010 at 02:03 PM
    I am so glad to hear that Jay Leno got his show back. I have been a fan of his since the late great Carson left us. I have never been a fan of Conan and I stopped watching The Tonight Show when he took over. Also, am I the only one who has an issue with Conan getting $33 mil to leave the show? Seriously! He only had it for 8 months and he is getting way more money than it and he is worth. This country is going to pot but yet there is enough money in this country to pay him off that much?! With the economy going the way it is, why aren't Americans speaking their peace about this? Why isnt the media covering this money issue? WHERE IS THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH FROM YOU PEOPLE?! True reporters would be covering the money side of this topic! Where did this money come from? Why isnt the money going towards bettering this country and donated to Haiti for recovery efforts?! I dont understand why the media in this country is so scared to investigate! WHAT A DISGRACE!!!
  • by Brooksie on Jan 21, 2010 at 01:53 PM
    WHO CARES??? Maybe he should give half of that money to poverty stricken Amreica or Haiti
  • by US citizen for now Location: Washington on Jan 21, 2010 at 12:31 PM
    (NBC) Conan, take the 20 million and go on a vacation! leave! you made us look so stupid in front of America! I ought to take half of this. get lost! both of these guys are funny guys. they've made 100-300 mil or more. get lost and let some new talent take your place.
  • by Ted Location: Grimesland on Jan 21, 2010 at 09:11 AM
    I used to watch the Tonight Show almost every night, except Monday nights. That’s when Johnny would always have a “Guest Host” near Johnny’s retirement it was almost always Jay Leno who filled in, I didn’t find him all that funny then and I don’t find him all that entertaining now. Not that he’s a bad guy, I just never cared for his brand of the Tonight Show. I doubt that I’ve watched more than a minute or two of it since Johnny Carson left, and when Johnny retired that’s exactly what he did. He left and we rarely heard from him after that. In my opinion the Tonight Show hasn’t been worth a flip since.
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