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- Sep 8, 2003
Unfortunately that won't happen, as not keeping Leno's audience is why he was let go in the first place.
Just to be clear...
It hasn't been decided whether the show would launch in the fall or January
Conan's deal to leave the Tonight Show had an agreement that he wouldn't start a competing show right away. I think the deal meant he couldn't do it until the following season.
It is important to understand that the return of Leno to 11:35 was because he failed at 10, not because O'Brien failed there.
That said, there are simply two issues here.
First, another late night show just divides the audience. The audience is not that big in the first place, and as some point you just reach the point where its best to try something different.
Second, is that Fox affiliates are an independent lot. Many have a good success with a sitcom rerun at 11 (especiall in the CT/MT areas, where we are talking about 10) and may not want to give up that to the network, and many will not even want to give up 11:30.
if my memory serves me correctly, o'brien started losing the tonight audience before leno's show debuted. leno's show started in august. conan had already been on tonight when he started losing to letterman.
Source & More: thrfeed.comExclu: After a two-week stall, Fox and Conan O'Brien have resumed talks about a potential late-night talk show fronted by the former "Tonight Show" host.
But a wrinkle in the courtship has emerged that involves the biggest show on television: O'Brien has been approached to take part in Fox's "Idol Gives Back" special April 21.