While the actual ratings success of its Conan O’Brien experiment has been subject to some debate, TBS enthusiastically announced on Wednesday (Feb. 22) that “Conan” has been extended through April of 2014.
“We are proud to be in business with Conan O’Brien for the long run,” states Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and TCM. “Night after night, Conan and his team have put together terrific shows that draw a young and fiercely loyal audience. As if that weren’t enough, they have also built a dynamic online presence that keeps fans engaged like no other show in late night.”
Certainly “Conan” ratings have been on a recent upswing, boosted in no small part by repeats of “The Big Bang Theory.” For the year, “Conan” has been averaging 1.1 million viewers, including 702,000 viewers in the 18-49 demographic, but January 2012 ratings were up by 27 percent overall and 21 percent in the 18-49 demo from October.
In the TBS statement announcing the extension, O’Brien kids, “I am excited to continue my run with TBS because they have been fantastic partners. This means I”ll be taping episodes of ‘Conan’ well into the Ron Paul presidency.”
One of the centerpieces of TBS’ comedy brand, “Conan” picked up a trio of Emmy nominations last summer, including nods for its writing team and for Outstanding Variety Music or Comedy Series.