Conan O’Brien doesn’t want to host “The Tonight Show” at 12:05 a.m. At least for now, though, he’s still hosting it at 11:35 p.m.
An NBC rep tells Zap2it that Tuesday’s (Jan. 12) “Tonight Show” taping is proceeding as scheduled, and the episode will air as planned. Tom Brokaw, “Chuck” star Zachary Levi and Rosanne Cash are slated to be O’Brien’s guests.
Tuesday afternoon O’Brien released a statement saying he did not want to host “The Tonight Show” at 12:05 a.m., as NBC has proposed he do. The network is ending Jay Leno’s prime-time show next month and wants to give Leno a half-hour show at 11:35 p.m., followed by “The Tonight Show” at 12:05 a.m. and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” at 1:05.
“I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it,” O’Brien’s statement says. “My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of ‘The Tonight Show.’ But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with ‘The Tonight Show,’ I believe nothing could matter more.
“There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. 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.”
Zap2it contacted NBC for comment on O’Brien’s statement but as of posting time hadn’t received a response.
Anyone figure “The Tonight Show” might get a good-sized ratings bump tonight? I know I’ll be watching.
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Photo credit: NBC