The new deal extends O’Brien’s tenure on the cable channel by about a year and a half — his previous contract was set to expire April 2014. The extension ensures at least a five-year run for “Conan” on TBS.
“When we invited Conan O’Brien to come to TBS, we knew he would bring with him a passionately loyal following of young adults,” TBS president Michael Wright says. “Conan and his colleagues at Team Coco have gone far beyond that by making ‘Conan’ the top late-night brand in the digital arena. We are proud to extend our relationship with Conan as he continues to forge the future of late night. I just wish we didn’t decide to tell him on April Fools’ Day.”
“Conan” only averages about 900,000 viewers per night, putting it in the lower tier of late-night shows. But O’Brien’s show has a younger audience than any of his competitors, and they’re more “engaged” — i.e., they share and talk about the show on social media — than the audiences of his peers. Content from the show draws 15 million monthly views on YouTube and the TeamCoco site.