Watching the classy late-night transition from Jay Leno to Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman to Stephen Colbert, it is hard not to feel a little badly for Conan O’Brien and the way he was set on fire several years ago when Leno grudgingly handed off the Tonight Show torch to him — and then refused to go away. NBC’s unwillingness to commit to O’Brien despite his lengthy tenure in the 12:30 slot created the biggest bungle in late-night history. A large financial settlement didn’t ease the sting of O’Brien realizing his dream of filling the seat once occupied by his idol Johnny Carson, only to lose it seven months later. O’Brien’s long past that, now, and comfortable and confident in his 11 PM slot at TBS with a show as strong in quality viral video bits as Fallon’s and Jimmy Kimmel’s, and a mischievous spirit that seemed to have gone missing when O’Brien tried catering to the masses from that cavernous Tonight Show set. His show is as sharp now as any time since the lanky redhead came from The Simpsons writers room to NBC in 1993 and honed his distinctive, self-deprecating style for the college and insomniac crowd. Here, O’Brien talks about his place in the shifting late-night landscape, and how social media has played to his strength.
DEADLINE: Your TBS show recaptured something lost during the Tonight Show stint, that “I can’t believe we’re getting away with this, don’t tell the grown-ups” vibe. What’s the biggest difference between the show you do now and the one you did for so long at NBC?
CONAN O’BRIEN: The biggest difference is how much social media has changed the DNA of what I do. I came up in the old system 21 years ago, when Carson had just retired and there were only a couple of us doing this. It felt then like I was the awkward kid in the tree house, looking down on the adults. When we started the show at TBS, I had to jump into social media overnight. I didn’t even have a Twitter account, but it was so important in launching my national tour and how I stayed alive during that down period after The Tonight Show. Read More »
Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong return as hosts and executive producers of the competition reality series, in which contestants face challenges that test their intellect, ingenuity, skills and pop-culture knowledge for a $100,000 prize. The eight-episode third season will air in early 2015. The most recent second season of King Of The Nerds, designed as a companion of off-network hit The Big Bang Theory, averaged 1.5 million viewers and more than 1 million adults 18-49, with a median age of 35. “King Of The Nerds demonstrates the power of nerd culture by drawing not only a fervent fan base but also the youngest audience of any current TBS original,” said TNT and TBS head of programming Michael Wright. Executive producing with Carradine and Armstrong are Ben Silverman and Chris Grant of Electus and Craig Armstrong, Rick Ringbakk and Charles Wachter of 5X5 Media; Electus distributes the show internationally. The renewal comes on the heels of TBS picking up hidden-camera game show Deal With It for additional 10 episodes to air this fall.
Late last night, Pete Holmes took to Facebook and posted an upbeat goodbye to his fans, while giving thanks to those who made The Pete Holmes Show happen on TBS, specifically a big shout out to executive producer Conan O’Brien. Yesterday, TBS announced the cancellation of The Pete Holmes Show on account of its ratings. At the end of his letter, Holmes left fans with a knee-slappin’ video of his impersonation of Ray Romano, singing duets of songs like “A Whole New World” and “Endless Love”, with the actual Ray Romano. Read below.
Related: TBS Cancels ‘The Pete Holmes Show’
Sadly, The Pete Holmes Show has not been renewed for more episodes. I know! Frowny face emoticon!
I just want to let everyone know that while the news isn’t what I was hoping for, my main takeaway from this entire wonderful experience is extreme gratitude.
We got to make eighty (eight-zero! Sometimes filming as many as 19 in ten days!) episodes and I am extremely proud of each and every one of them. I talked to and worked with my heroes. I met incredible athletes and filmmakers. I shook hands regularly with a puppet. I got to work everyday in a magical chocolate factory of joy side by side with some of my best friends laughing and being silly all day. And then I got to share it with our fans. It was an absolute dream come true.
I want to thank Oren Brimer and Nick Bernstein for their
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Another late-night host is available to take Craig Ferguson’s place at CBS. TBS revealed today — Take-Out-the-Trash Day (Friday before holiday weekend) – that Conan O’Brien’s late-night companion series, starring Pete Holmes and exec produced by O’Brien, will end its run on June 5, owing to its ratings.
Related: TBS Renews ‘Conan’ Through 2018
Presumably, TBS discussed its thoughts about The Pete Holmes Show ratings during its contract conversations with O’Brien; the network announced with fanfare at its Upfront Week presentation last week that it had re-upped Conan through 2018, but did not mention that Holmes’ show was toast. TBS initially ordered 7 weeks of The Pete Holmes Show in January 2013, and the show launched that fall; this past January, the network picked up an additional 13 weeks — an order that wraps in mid June. Read More »
TBS has extended the second season of Deal With It, adding 10 more episodes of the hidden camera competition series from executive producer Howie Mandel. It’s set to return this fall. Comedian Theo Von hosts the series in which members of the public are secretly recruited to pull a prank on their unwitting companions with no time to prepare, and must obey all instructions given through an earpiece from a secret control room nearby to win cash and prizes. Guest celebrities and comedians scheduled to appear in the extended Season 2 include Kelly Osbourne, Nick Cannon, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Arsenio Hall, Bill Engvall, Kevin Nealon, and Alex Mandel among others. Deal With It is averaging more than 1.5 million viewers, including 887,000 adults 18-49 for its second season. It’s produced by Howie Mandel’s Alevy Prods., Roy Bank’s Banca Studio and Keshet Broadcasting, in association with Lionsgate TV.
TBS has extended Conan through 2018! TNT is having a dramatic programming evolution and a brand refresh! Turner Upfront presentation went like this:
10:12 AM ET: “In times of change, good teams move forward; great teams — retreat,” Turner Entertainment says to open its presentation. We see video of ad sales team working out with The Rock, because they want to be #1-ier. They learn things like “Blind cc’s are for bitches.”
10:15 AM ET: Traditional Network Ad Sales Airport-Tarmac-Hand-Gesture Speeches. Attempting to figure out what the future holds is really hard. Our industry famous for investing new and futuristic ideas. Nobody loves to think about the future more than Turner. This is most important time of year to keep one foot firmly on the ground. This year both TBS and TNT are here to talk about NowMedia. It’s not old media or new media, but an innovative way to capitalize on best of both.
10: 30 AM ET:Michael Wright, head of programing at TNT, TBS, and Turner Classic Movies, take the stage: “I’m pretty sure most of you agree change is good. Sometimes change is even necessary. For TBS – not so much not now. The headline is: TBS is in great shape…But for TNT now change is in the air. Time to evolve and grow the network. That starts with refreshing the brand and content with it — get younger, more dual, and louder. The clear promise to the audience: if you’re in the mood for drama that thrills, you turn to TNT.”
He introduces a video about TNT’s new 18-49-targeting brand: TNT Drama. Boom:
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Here are the first look at TBS‘ new comedies and dramas as part of the 2014-2015 series orders. The network has made full trailers available now that Turner’s upfront presentation is getting underway in NY. Check them out:
Angie Tribeca – Comedy
Produced by Warner Horizon, Conaco and Carousel TV. From executive producer/writer/director Steve Carell and executive producers Nancy Carell, Campbell Smith and Thom Hinkle.
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TNT is tweaking its branding. After the cable network introduced its signature We Know Drama tagline in 2001 and shortened it to Drama. in 2008, it is now expanding it to TNT Drama. Boom. The brand update reflects TNT’s new direction, with more action-adventure, sci-fi/fantasy and mystery/suspense series alongside crime dramas or, as TNT programming chief Michael Wright put it, more “drama that thrills.” It will be unveiled at TNT and TBS’ upfront presentation today where TNT will tout its slate of new series The Last Ship, Legends, Murder In The First, Public Morals, Proof and The Librarians, a take on TNT’s Librarian original movie franchise. Its development slate includes projects (some previously announced) from Vince Vaughn, Greg Berlanti, Scott Winant, Donnie Wahlberg, Mark Gordon and Joe Carnahan, as well as a sequel to King’s 1980 bestseller Firestarter. TBS, which just picked up new half-hour series Angie Tribeca, Buzzy’s and Your Family Or Mine, is developing projects from Ed Helms and John Krasinski. Here are details about TNT and TBS’ development slates:
TNT’s New Series Trailers
TBS’ New Series Trailers
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Conan O’Brien launched his late-night show on TBS in November 2010. Fifteen months later, the show was extended though April 2014. Now TBS is making a big statement that O’Brien is there to stay, renewing Conan through 2018. With Jay Leno retiring this spring and David Letterman set to follow him, O’Brien next year will become the new doyen of late night where he recently marked his 20th anniversary. Year to date, Conan is averaging a modest 862,000 viewers in Live+7. His strength is in younger viewers, topping a number of late-night competitors among adults 18-34 including The Late Show With David Letterman, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Arsenio Hall Show, Chelsea Lately and Watch What Happens: Live. Conan also has been a digital juggernaut, with O’Brien counting 10.7 million Twitter followers, more than any other late-night star on cable. Last year, O’Brien expanded his late-night presence on TBS with a companion, The Pete Holmes Show, which is produced by his company Conaco.
Related: TNT & TBS Upfronts Presentation 2014: Live-Blog
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The last piece in TBS’ lineup has come together heading into the upfronts, with the network cancelling comedy series Men At Work after three seasons. It was one of two original TBS series left on the bubble. The other, Cougar Town, was renewed for a sixth and final season yesterday. That follows last week’s pickups of new comedy series Angie Tribeca, from Steve Carell; Buzzy’s, from David Kohan and Max Mutchnick; and Your Family Or Mine, from Greg Malins and Men at Work producers Sony TV and Fanfare. Men at Work creator Breckin Meyer also remains in business with Turner. He stars in TNT dramedy Franklin & Bash, also from Sony/Fanfare, which returns for Season 4 this summer.
Prepare to say good-bye to the wine-loving gang from Cougar Town. TBS has ordered a 13-episode sixth season of the comedy series, which will be its last. It will air in 2015.
Cougar Town, starring Courteney Cox, joined the TBS lineup in January 2013 after three seasons on ABC. It finished the year as one of basic cable’s Top 10 original sitcoms with adults 18-49. In the most recent Season 5, the series averaged more than 2 million viewers and ranked as one of cable’s Top 10 comedies with adults 18-49 (1.3 million) and adults 18-34 (639,000) for Q1 2014. Cougar Town was created by executive producer Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel. The series is produced by ABC Studios, with Lawrence, Cox, David Arquette and showrunner Blake McCormick serving as executive producers. Christa Miller, Busy Philipps, Dan Byrd, Ian Gomez, Josh Hopkins and Brian Van Holt co-star.
TBS is loading up on workplace comedies. Following its pickup of Steve and Nancy Carell’s cop comedy Angie Tribeca this morning, the cable network also has ordered to series Buzzy’s, an ensemble multi-camera workplace comedy from Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. Also picked up to series is Your Family Or Mine, a family comedy from Friends alum Greg Malins. Both are 10-episode orders. The other pilot from the current batch, Untapped, aka Living The Dream, is not going forward. Most of TBS’ current comedy series are workplace: Sullivan & Son, Ground Floor and Men At Work. There is no decision yet on the future of Men At Work as well as boozie single-camera comedy series Cougar Town.
Related: Police Comedy ‘Angie Tribeca’ Gets TBS Series Order
Buzzy’s marks Kohan and Mutchnick’s first cable series. It revolves around a group of kids from high school, who ran in different circles but now all work together at a local Charlestown, MA barbershop called Buzzy’s. Their dreams may lie across the Charles River in Boston, but for now, their work, their lives, their loves and their worries remain in the town they grew up in. The project was set up at TBS a year ago, stemming from an exploratory meeting Kohan and Mutchnick took with the network’s programming chief Michael Wright. Kohan and Mutchnick’s KoMut Entertainment and Warner Horizon are producing. The project was packaged by Scott Schwartz.
Related: Steve Carell’s Police Comedy Starring Rashida Jones Gets TBS Series Order
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Ahead of its upfront presentation next Wednesday, TBS has kicked off its new series pickups with a green light to the character-driven police comedy Angie Tribeca (working title, form. Tribeca), the brainchild of Steve and Nancy Carell. The network has ordered 10 episodes of the project starring Rashida Jones for a 2015 premiere. Also expected to get a TBS series order is hot comedy pilot The Buzzy’s.
Angie Tribeca, which had been a frontrunner based on auspices alone, is a satirical look at police procedurals. The single-camera comedy, whose pilot was written by Steve and Nancy Carell and directed by Carell, focuses on an eccentric but brilliant group of LAPD detectives who investigate crime, reveal way too much personal information and refuse to rest until justice has been served…sort of. Jones plays Angie Tribeca, a lone wolf who’s capable, committed, strong and not thrilled when her boss (Burns) tells her she has to work with a partner (guest star Hayes Macarthur).
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Conan O’Brien‘s Team Coco is set to launch a new comedy label this summer, beginning with the release of the debut stand-up album from comedian Ian Edwards, 100% Half Assed. The album was recorded at the La Jolla Comedy Store on March 8 and will be released in June. Team Coco says the concept for the new record label was born of a desire to help shine a spotlight on rising comedians while allowing them more creative control and a greater stake in the success of the release. Over the past 20 years, O’Brien has used his late-night franchise as a platform for launching groundbreaking stand-up comedy. Since debuting in 2010 on TBS, Conan reps say their show has featured more performances from stand-up comedians than any other late-night program on TV. In addition to inviting comics to perform on Conan, Team Coco has produced comedy specials like Team Coco Presents: The Conan Writers Live and has spotlighted some of the show’s favorite comedians on Conan After Hours, hosted by Pete Holmes. Read More »
Cheers alum George Wendt and Ashley Tisdale are set to co-star in David Kohan and Max Mutchnick‘s multi-camera untitled barbershop comedy pilot at TBS. Also cast in the untitled workplace comedy is Lauren Lapkus (Orange Is the New Black). The project revolves around a group of kids who ran in different circles in high school but now all work together at Buzzy’s Barbershop in Charlestown, MA. Their dreams may lie across the Charles River in Boston, but for now, their work, their lives, their loves and their worries remain in the town they grew up in. Wendt, repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and AMT Artists, will play Buzzy, the barbershop’s former owner, a nice guy who’s always up for a conversation. But he has one tragic flaw: He’s an inveterate gambler. Tisdale, repped by UTA and Perlman Management, will play Danni, a barber at Buzzy’s who is one of the guys — but she’s still totally sexy without really trying. Lapkus, repped by CAA and Odenkirk Provissero, plays Joy, the barbershop receptionist who’s an eternal optimist.
Related: 2014 TBS Pilots
Talk about planning ahead. He’s hosting the MTV Movie Awards for the first time on April 13 and now Conan O’Brien is climbing another pop culture mountain by heading to Comic-Con next year. The TBS late night host plans to broadcast his show from July 8 – 12, 2015 when the studios, the networks and hundreds of thousands of the geekest geeks in geekdom all head to San Diego. In the first time a late night show has broadcast from Comic-Con, CONAN will take over the downtown Spreckels Theater. The production closed the deal on the theater today, a source tells me.Additionally, this is the clearest indication that Conan truly isn’t in the running to take over CBS’ Late Show when David Letterman retires next year. While this is the first time a late nigh show has aired from Comic-Con, this won’t be the first time O’Brien has been to the confab. He was down there in 2011 to promote his animated alter ego the “Flaming C “during a panel for the Green Lantern Animated series panel.
EXCLUSIVE: Richard Dreyfuss has joined the TBS comedy pilot Your Family Or Mine, from Greg Malins, Sony Pictures TV and Fanfare. Based on a Keshet format, the show centers on Oliver and Kelli, who are living proof of the adage “When you marry someone, you don’t just marry them, you marry their whole family.” It is a family comedy with an unusual structure — each episode focuses on a different side of the family: one week featuring the couple dealing with Kelli’s family, the next spent with Oliver’s. Dreyfuss, repped by APA and The Schiff Co., will play Ricky, Oliver’s father, opposite JoBeth Williams’ Louis. This marks the first series-regular role for Oscar-winner Dreyfuss since his starring turn on the 2001 CBS drama The Education Of Max Bickford. Over the past decade he’s done arcs on Showtime’s Weeds and NBC’s Parenthood. He most recently wrapped Darren Aronofsky and Joel Viertel’s feature Zipper and was seen in Paranoia.
Related: 2014 TBS Pilots
EXCLUSIVE: Punk’d alum Ryan Pinkston (Bad Santa) and Groundlings Matt Cook (Harry’s Law) and Mike Castle have been cast as leads in TBS‘ multi-camera ensemble workplace comedy pilot from Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. The untitled project (aka Buzzy’s, Clipsters) is about a group of kids from high school who ran in different circles but now all work together at a local Charlestown, MA barbershop called Buzzy’s. Their dreams may lie across the Charles River in Boston, but for now, their work, their lives, their loves and their worries remain in the town they grew up in.
Related: 2014 TBS Pilots
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