The Trouble With Conan On TBS? Now George Lopez Is Relevant

So now we know Conan’s next destination is TBS, and maybe that sounds good. He’s always seemed more suited to cable than network television anyway. While basic cable isn’t exactly HBO, compared to network TV it’s pretty footloose and fancy free. Vomiting Kermit fits there. There’s only one dark cloud here and his name is George Lopez.

Twenty-four hours ago George Lopez’s Lopez Tonight was an afterthought buried somewhere on deep cable and probably destined to be cancelled the moment someone offered TBS a sweet deal on re-runs of 30 Rock. The guy’s never been funny and the advertisements for his show made it look more like affirmative action than legitimate programming. Even in a thirty-second promo Lopez always seems to find a way to work in his Latin-American heritage, waving it around as if that’s the only reason to watch his show. And let’s face it, it probably was.

Now though, things have changed and George Lopez, arguably one of the most bland comedians and performers of the past decade (surpassed in mediocrity only be Carlos Mencias), is following the hottest act in town. His TBS talkshow will be bumped a little later and Conan will be his lead in. Suddenly, unbelievably, George Lopez is relevant. He’s still blithely mediocre George Lopez, but now he’s mediocre George Lopez with massive media attention and regardless of how much he sucks, an instant audience. That attention means good things for Lopez, in particular he’s going to have less trouble booking big guests. Don’t believe it? He may be about to land an interview with Sandra Bullock.

Deadline says Bullock and Lopez are friends and now that he’s relevant, she may appear on his show during Conan’s premiere week. Since they’re friends, normally an appearance on his show wouldn’t be a big deal, but right now things for Sandra Bullock aren’t normal. She just won an Oscar and she’s on the front page of every tabloid in the country after her breakup with Jesse James, which makes her pretty much the biggest celebrity guest a talkshow can get. She’s an instant ratings boost for whoever gets her and now Lopez, of all people will get the biggest get. Abandon all hope, those of you hoping for 30 Rock re-runs.

Thanks to Conan instead of lingering in relatively unwatched obscurity where it belonged, Lopez Tonight is now unbelievably relevant. If Conan succeeds we’re stuck with Lopez Tonight, pretty much forever. I love you Coco, but now I find myself wishing I’d gone with Team Leno.

Josh Tyler