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FOX Pushing Affiliates To Get Ready For Coco
As much as I hate their sleazy TV show, TMZ is still a legitimate source for real celebrity news. So when they say FOX is getting closer and closer to getting a deal to put Conan O'Brien on the air this fall at 11 PM ET, it's worth paying attention to. While no deals have been made, the network is reportedly pushing the affiliates to get on board Coco at 11.
It's a tough sell for many, as they're raking in the dough with syndicated comedies in that hour right now, and there's no guarantee they'd see anything close to those profits with Conan. But that doesn't mean they can't convince the network to do it. CBS affiliates went through this same thing when they had to give up their post-news slots to The Late Show with David Letterman, and eventually The Late Late Show after that.
If a deal doesn't work at FOX, then Conan's next most likely bid would be a syndicated deal, which could see his show on at different times in different markets. This is likely not a situation O'Brien would like, considering that being on at 11:30 PM ET every night as the host of The Tonight Show was his dream.
O'Brien is still riding a wave of momentum and positive sentiment following his departure from The Tonight Show. While he's barred from doing his thing on television until September 2010, he's had no trouble selling out live shows across the nation throughout this spring and summer, so he's going to continue riding that buzz into the fall.
It's hard to imagine this deal not working with FOX, as O'Brien would be a great way for them to launch a weeknight late night franchise. NBC would then be responsible for handing established talent to two of their competition; both so they could hang onto Jay Leno as the host of The Tonight Show. The CW is probably looking at Jimmy Fallon for sometime in the 2020s.
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