Conan O’Brien will be able to join another US TV network from 1st September. His exit deal with NBC states he’s not allowed to sign up for any other US network until that date. Conan is examining his options – he could go to Fox, Comedy Central or Fox-owned channel FX.
Another detail of the NBC deal has been revealed – he won’t be able to bring his old characters like Triumph The Comic Dog and the Masturbating Bear with him to another network as NBC have claimed them as intellectual property. This reminds me of when Letterman left NBC and they wouldn’t let him take his segments like Viewer Mail – Letterman always joked that the word “intellectual” isn’t usually something you’d associate with NBC.
Leno – who is expected to return to The Tonight Show from the 1st March – said “I don’t believe the iceberg is that big, the biggest ship, this ship will never sink” with a reference to the Titanic. On The Tonight Show, Conan took more swipes at NBC saying one of the things he’s not allowed to do is “make fun of NBC programming… I have to let the programming speak for itself”. Conan’s final Tonight Show will air tonight in the US – you can see it on CNBC at 11pm on Monday.