This whole Conan announcement has bothered me, so even though Grant already wrote a nice piece about Conan's new move, I decided to weigh in as well.
First off, let me say that I'm very glad to see Conan's returning to television in any fashion. In a recent podcast, I misspoke when I said he was going to make an announcement in May about a new show on Fox. I received some bad information. However, I do wish Fox could have given him a commitment. I think it would have been a better move in the long run. Fox has proven itself to be a growing network with solid programming.
I don't know why everyone's so thrilled that Conan is headed to TBS. Personally, I'm not. He's got a strong fan base, but there are a lot of strikes against him by going there. He'll start at 10p.m. Monday through Thursday. That's the time when most people will tune into their local news on NBC, ABC, or CBS. He also faces direct competition from "The Daily Show" and Jon Stewart on Comedy Central.
At 10:35, well-established late night talkers "The Tonight Show," and "Late Show With David Letterman" will hit the air, so it's not exactly a slam dunk for Conan.
I predict people will tune in initially to see what the fuss is all about--again, for the novelty effect, but again, it's my firm belief that established programming will overtake any challengers, and that includes O'Brien.
As I've mentioned in previous articles, I was fortunate enough to meet Conan at 30 Rock in New York, see his "Late Night" show in person, and just last year I was on hand to catch his 3rd "Tonight Show" live. He's a terrific talent, and a very nice person, and I wish him all the success in the world. But going to TBS, is I believe, a bad move. Time will tell.