Wait, Is Conan Actually Changing Its Format? Here's What TBS' President Says

conan o'brien

One knows to always take things with a grain of salt whenever news come barreling through the rumor mill, but there's usually a palpable sense of faith whenever the CEO of a network shares a big announcement about one of his or her network's most recognizable properties. There are clearly holes in that line of theory as well, though, as Turner chief John Martin's claims about a major formatting change for TBS' Conan were apparently as credible as all those "In the Year 2000" predictions. Here's how TBS and TNT President Kevin Reilly responded to those Conan statements spreading.

At this time, we have no plans to change the format or frequency of [Conan]. In addition to Conan's daily responsibilities to his talk show, we continue to have very ambitious plans that will further broaden and evolve our relationship with Conan.

Is it weird that Kevin Reilly didn't actually refer to how that formatting change news got spread in the first place, or is it understandably wise that the exec didn't poke the bear when addressing the issue? Probably that second one, huh? It wasn't the most inflammatory story to have been spread about Conan's future, after all.

For those unaware, earlier today brought the report that Turner's John Martin gave an interview at this year's CES expo in Las Vegas in which he claimed TBS would (at some undisclosed point in the future) be scaling back Conan's production so that only weekly episodes would be released. He cited the current density of late night talk shows as a reason, with Full Frontal with Samantha Bee as a decent litmus test for how the weekly format could fare for the talk show. It definitely seemed like an odd and extreme choice, but not entirely an inconceivable one, considering how unpredictable the TV landscape can be these days. Plus, Kevin Reilly has been progressive with how those networks are handling commercials, so anything could happen.

But apparently we don't have anything to worry about, if Kevin Reilly is being straight with TVLine in his statement, and that's a huge relief. It was really hard to conceive how Conan's structure and style could be whittled down to a weekly airing without it just feeling exactly like a normal episode, or without the show embracing themes or agendas. All the recent travels the show has been doing could have been a good way to separate itself from the pack as a weekly series, or perhaps sticking only to interviews with full casts from movies and TV shows, since he's done so well with that in the past. Again, though, no reason to think about it too hard, since it probably isn't anyone's concern.

Tune into TBS every weeknight to catch a new episode of Conan, without fear of that changing in the near future. Head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what you'll find hitting the small screen soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.