Conan O’Brien has won the current PR battle over NBC as it regards to hosting “The Tonight Show.”
Jay Leno, the former host who NBC retained to host a nightly comedy program (sounds kinda like “The Tonight Show,” right?), had his new 10pm show cancelled. And, in the best cancellation in the history of TV, NBC wanted to give him his old time slot back…or at least part of it, pushing O’Brien to 12:05am. Translation, “The Tonight Show,” would technically be “The Tomorrow Show.”
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Conan basically said he would not agree to move the show to 12:05am, citing the “destruction” of the show, while also acknowledging how unfair it would be to Jimmy Fallon, the new host of “Late Night,” O’Brien’s old show.
The absolute zinger of the statement was this:
My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work. – Conan O’Brien
While Leno and NBC have remained hush on their thoughts, O’Brien was proactive. He cited valid reasons for not wanting to be a part of this mess AND planted the seed for any other network to welcome him with open arms.
Sounds like a PR win to me.
What do you think? Is there any way NBC can recover from this in the short term?