'Conan' Renewed Through 2014, Wanted Prince for a 'Simpsons' Episode

After some troubling ratings news in 2011, TBS and Conan have reached an agreement to keep his show on the cable network through 2014. From Bill Carter at the New York Times:

The two sides had been moving toward agreement on the extension for some months, despite questions being raised by competing late-night shows about whether Mr. O’Brien’s ratings might become an issue.

After an initial surge of interest after his acrimonious departure from NBC in January 2010, “Conan” experienced a decline in ratings on TBS. Though competitive at first with the leading cable late-night shows — “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central — “Conan” slipped behind those shows after several months.

I wonder what turned it around. Probably not that stupid decision to use reruns of “Big Bang Theory” as its lead-in. Stupid “Big Bang Theory,” always ruining “Community’s” ratings and having stupid jokes and a stupid face.

Most significantly for Mr. O’Brien, the traditional ratings for his show – which are still responsible for most of the revenue — have demonstrated a noticeable resurgence in recent months. The big reason: TBS has found the most-compatible lead-in programming for the show since Mr. O’Brien’s arrival — reruns of the hit comedy “The Big Bang Theory.”

After some months where “Conan” attracted audiences of only 700,000 to 800,000 viewers (by the traditional ratings), it has bounced back in December to average 900,000 to 1 million viewers.

Oh. Well, uh, maybe the show’s not all bad, I guesOH MY GOD WHAT’S THAT OVER THERE? [scurries away].

Say what you will about the current state of late-night talk shows (and I have), but I’m happier living in a world where Conan has a show. I admit I don’t watch it as frequently as I once did, but until someone else starts putting puppies in wigs and asking RZA about nudity and chess, I vote we keep this guy around.

More awesome Conan-related content after the jump.

– First of all, Conan was on Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist podcast last week. I’m usually not a huge fan of Hardwick, but their conversation was really interesting and loose. It covered everything from his early career, to “The Simpsons,” to the whole “Tonight Show” debacle. Also, he says the f-word a bunch, so if you ever wanted to hear Conan cuss, here you go.

– Second, via Funny or Die comes this: former “Simpsons” writer Bill Oakley’s list of the top ten unaired pitches in the show’s history. Number one is especially relevant to my interests.


Thanks to Bobby Big Wheel for the Prince tip