After 28 years of success with only the occasional headline-making hiccup, the world of late night talk shows will soon be saying farewell to yet another TV icon, though it thankfully won't be a permanent goodbye from all of television. It was announced today that Conan O'Brien is ending the decade-long run of his TBS talk show Conan, which is now set to wrap up after its tenth season concludes in 2021.
That's obviously the bad news here, since Conan O'Brien has been a mainstay in late-night TV since he first took over NBC's Late Night following David Letterman's exit for CBS. But while he won't technically be around to continue his normal weeknight schedule, O'Brien isn't completely leaving TBS, and he has in fact signed a new overall deal with WarnerMedia that will give him a brand news series on HBO Max.
It's been confirmed that Conan O'Brien will remain connected to TBS thanks to his travel specials that go under the name Conan Without Borders, for which the host has taken trips to Italy, Japan, Ghana, Haiti, Greenland and many other countries. It's not clear how often those will come out, but at least fans can expect to see his global conquests continue on.
Perhaps the most exciting news here is that Conan O'Brien's deal with HBO Max is for a brand new variety series that is set to air weekly. There's no telling exactly what to expect from this new project, but HBO and HBO Max's CCO Casey Bloys championed O'Brien's absurdist and energetic style, and says he can't wait for whatever the Team Coco squad will come up with. Maybe this is where fans can expect to see the majestic return of the Masturbating Bear and the Walker, Texas Ranger lever, which could now be focused solely on The CW's upcoming reboot with Jared Padalecki.
Check out what Conan O'Brien himself had to say about the new deal below, which is of course as silly as can be.
In 1993 Johnny Carson gave me the best advice of my career: ‘As soon as possible, get to a streaming platform.’ I’m thrilled that I get to continue doing whatever the hell it is I do on HBO Max, and I look forward to a free subscription.
It's been as rough a year for Conan and its crew as everyone else in late-night TV, considering the pandemic shifted the production from in-studio to in-home. While Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show made the move to jump back into the studio for in-person interviews, O'Brien and others chose to remain remote as the TV industry continues reshaping itself to keep up with pandemic protocols. (Maybe that would have been different if his show was still an hour long, but maybe not.) Here's hoping the world is closer to normal by the time Team Coco gets to work on the HBO Max variety series.
While exact dates for all of these announcements are still up in the air, fans can expect to see the final episodes of Conan hitting TBS in June 2021. For those interested in seeing what will be hitting the small screen before then, head to our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule and our Winter and Spring 2021 TV rundown.