Conan O’Brien Signs 4-Year TBS Deal; Says Show Will Become Leaner, More Agile, Less Predictable

Turner’s TBS has closed a new four-year deal with Conan O’Brien that keeps his late-night show on the basic cable network through 2022, continuing O’Brien’s reign as late-night television’s longest-serving host.

But, the new deal also extends his Team Coco brand into digital content, podcasting, gaming, pay TV, and live events.

TBS will expand its relationship with Conaco LLC, which produces late-night’s Conan, along with TBS comedy People of Earth and the upcoming animated series Final Space; Team Coco, the fan-centric entity that serves as the show’s digital and social media hub; and the Team Coco Digital Studio, which produces branded content for Turner’s advertising partners.

“Conan continues to prove his vibrancy night after night, and his incredible command of the digital and social space has only built on his young, connected audience,” Kevin Reilly, president of TNT & TBS and chief creative officer of Turner Entertainment, said in this morning’s news.

O’Brien noted the TV landscape has changed dramatically since he inherited the traditional talk show format in 1993 and that in the past few years he has “stumbled across” new ways of connecting with his audience. “I’m eager to evolve my show into something leaner, more agile, and more unpredictable,” Conan said in today’s announcement, adding, “I also want a pony.”

Conan airs Monday-Thursday at 11 PM (ET/PT) on TBS, produced by Conaco LLC, with Jeff Ross serving as executive producer. Since premiering in November 2010, the show has consistently delivering the youngest audience of any late-night series. In the digital and social media arena, TBS boasted this morning, the show has chalked up a total of 3.4 billion video views. That figure includes 218 million views for the series’ “Clueless Gamer” segments and another 70 million for Team Coco’s branded content, while clips from Conan’s nightly episodes, international excursions, and Comic-Con shows have drawn 1.3 billion views.On the social media front, O’Brien has drawn well over 23 million followers on Twitter, which makes him one of the most-followed hosts in late night.

In its announcement, TBS also pointed to the headlines Conan has generated over the past two years with his Conan Without Borders road-trip specials and episodes. Most recently, Conan pointedly traveled to Mexico for a primetime special in which he delivered his monologue in Spanish. In Berlin, he experienced a dominatrix, but also a refugee camp. O’Brien became the first American late-night host to shoot in Cuba in more than 50 years; his Armenia trip was another first-time destination for an American late-night personality. In South Korea, O’Brien telecast from the North Korea/South Korea DMZ; in Qatar, he was joined by former First Lady Michelle Obama for a visit to an American Air Force base. Last year also included week-long trips to San Diego during Comic-Con International, and New York for a run of performances at the Apollo Theater.

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