Patterico's Pontifications


Conan to Get $30 Million

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:13 pm

NBC is planning to pay Conan O’Brien $30 million not to do the Tonight Show.

I’ll do it for $25 million.

30 Responses to “Conan to Get $30 Million”

  1. I don’t think I can stand to look at Leno anymore. What a little girl.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  2. Sounds like a Farm Bill, getting paid to not grow things.

    Dennis Keating (b8e95e)

  3. Same here happyfeet. I personally am quite disappointed in Jay.

    Apparently 20 years of incredible success has made it difficult for Leno to understand something that everybody squirreling away in the rat race does: if you give away your current gig for a new one that doesn’t work out, yer screwed.

    In the meantime however Patterico: $30 mil for Conan? ‘Tain’t nothin’. I here there’s a Scandi lady named Elin out there who’s gonna get $300 million just for not being married to Tiger somebody. 😉

    qdpsteve (5eb540)

  4. Conan *is* a taint…..

    and i could be wrong, but i think Jay had his j*b taken away from him so they could give it to Conan.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  5. Conan will land at FOX, of course.

    Official Internet Data Office (c93f96)

  6. Kimmel on Leno

    And of course…

    Leno getting Kimmeled

    I’m actually amazed that NBC never bothered to actually watch one episode of the thousands of hours Conan has done before hiring him to actually somewhat replicate Johnny Carson.

    TC (0b9ca4)

  7. Patterico : I work cheap. I will not do the show for five million.

    Longwalker (996c34)

  8. I remember when NBC switched their logo from 13 feathers to 7 feathers and did this whole “proud as a peabrain” thing. I don’t know if they do the “proud as a peabrain” thing anymore since I quit watching several years ago. But I do know NBC told Conan “if you hang with us, we’ll give you our number one slot in 2009.” Nevermind they had to kick the guy with the number one rated show to the curb to fulfill their contract. Oh, kick him to the curb and then tell him he can have a show in a wrong time slot.

    And, of course, both shows are showing signs of tankage, from what I hear. And I also heard that after Conan said he’s saying bubye to “proud as a peabrain”, Leno decided he’d also say bubye to “proud as a peabrain”, and “wouldn’t it be nice if NBC tried to keep them both with their shady deals and lost them both?”

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  9. Sidenote: Conan brought his entire staff from NYC to Hollyweird. And his staff, much lower-paid than him, had to go from riding the subway to buying cars. And they bought houses. And they uprooted their families and themselves. And NBC’s “proud as a peabrain” power-brokers have caused a ripple-effect of pain, anguish and hardship.

    But at least GE will get all those carbon-credit deals soon…

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  10. it just occurred to me that i haven’t been doing the Tonight Show for years: NBC owes me millions and millions of dollars…. somebody get me a lawyer!

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  11. Hell, *I* won’t do it for $20 million!!

    Bidding war!!!


    O Bloody Hell (79d71d)

  12. A race to the bottom!

    AD - RtR/OS! (bc0057)

  13. Well, if it’s a bidding war…

    I’ll refrain from doing the Tonight Show for 100k in four annual installments. Where’s my first installment?

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  14. I feel sorry for Conan. Granted, he’s wealthy, but wealth isn’t all of it. He had a dream of being on the tonight show, and he got there, and I think he was doing a good job. It wasn’t like the last iteration. But he’s a funny guy if you relax enough to let him be.

    He got dropped way too early. The problem wasn’t even him… the problem with affiliate problems with Jay’s show. Imagine actually getting that dream position you wanted, and losing it because of something outside your control? Yeah, that’s life, and Conan has a great life, but I still understand his pain at losing this important little piece of our society.

    Really, Jay and Conan are pretty funny. Letterman has always been nearly disturbing to watch, since he’s clearly so happy at the misfortune of those he can find fault with. Mean-funny is funny if it isn’t in earnest.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  15. Conan got so screwed here- wat, $30 million? Sh-t, for that much money I could get screwed too.

    Don’t understand Leno’s appeal. Never did think he was very funny, even back in his stand up days. He struck me as a younger Henny Youngman.

    JEA (9f9fc9)

  16. BTW, if you younger folks don’t know that reference, look it up.

    JEA (9f9fc9)

  17. Well Leno is doing what is best for him and NBC.

    Conan is not. He is taking the $30MM. Acting like a child and leaving OVER 200 employees behind without jobs. Many who moved from NYC to support his move to LA.

    So Conan is a bit of a douche b/c he never thought about his staff while getting $30MM walk away dough.

    HeavenSent (ae267e)

  18. Does Jay Leno really need to work? He should be out enjoying his many cars and motorcycles. Get a life before it’s too late.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  19. I will not do the Tonight show for three installments of $100,000.

    The cheap Dana (474dfc)

  20. Stop crying for O’Brien’s staff, they’re all grownups, they made their decision to move out west, it didn’t work out, that’s the way life works.

    And if O’Brien was doing such a bang up job, NBC would have left him at 12:30 and paid Leno off. But he wasn’t doing so well, his ratings were worse than Leno’s at that time, so it makes sense that with two guys wanting the same spot, NBC would give it to the guy who brings in the ratings and ad dollars.

    NBC’s mistake was agreeing five years ago to give O’Brien the slot… everything going on now is just the cleanup.

    And given the screaming over business executives who fail and receive multi-million dollar going away presents, I thought the Democrats would be all over O’Brien, blasting him as a sign of corporate greed. His lack of performance cost NBC and affiliates millions of dollars, so where’s the screaming?

    steve sturm (7629b0)

  21. Fact #1 – Conan worked on a series of 6 – month contracts throughout his tenure on The Late Show, when NBC finally realized he was good and gave him a 3 – year deal at the end of his tenure there.

    Fact #2 – who really thinks that his staff’s going to be unemployed for long? Highly doubtful, the odds of the entire crew going over to Fox shortly appear to be pretty good.

    Fact #3 – Conan’s show never had a chance to begin with when they put that lame – ass piece of crap show as his lead – in. The affiliates were screaming at NBC to shelve that idea as soon as it was announced and appealed to the network to start spending some actual money rebuilding their tattered lineup. Evidence of the difference a good prime time lineup can make is Letterman’s ratings, which have slowly risen over the past five years as the CBS lineup has increased in overall ratings.

    Which means that steve is talking out of his ginormous blowhole again.

    Dmac (539341)

  22. I was a Letterman man going back to the NBC Late Night days, and watched Dave rather than Jay (except on Monday, when Leno did Headlines) until I couldn’t take the toxic hammering away on Bush night after night after night. As I wrote here, the last straw was on October 14, 2005 when Bush was referred to as “bitch” in a bit on Late Show.

    Young people may forget that ugly feuds of this sort happened all the time on television before the proliferation of cable TV. Key actors in dramas and sitcoms held out for more cash — mostly when their contracts were ending, sometimes demanding re-negotiation — and the network had to choose between acceding to the demands (and risking the ire of their co-stars) or cutting them loose, and finding another actor/actress to replace them (and risk the ire of the viewers). Gabriel Kaplan blew off the final season of Welcome Back, Kotter forcing the actress playing his wife (Marcia Strassman) to take over the title character’s teaching job (to disastrous results). Suzanne Somers demanded a pay hike when she was on Three’s Company, ABC said no, and she was replaced by two subsequent blondes, Jennilee Harrison and Priscilla Barnes. Thought to be through at the time, Somers has reinvented herself as a fitness & lifestyle guru-ette and is still tabloid fodder. John Schneider and Tom Wopat — who played cousins “Bo and Luke Duke” on The Dukes of Hazzard — sat out most of a season in a merchandising flap while two forgotten lookalikes took their place as “Coy and Vance Duke.”

    If Leno just steps back in and retakes his throne as #1 in late night, all will be forgiven, and this will be be seen in retrospect as a blip in the history of The Tonight Show, as the Jack Paar years are now. The nightmare scenario for me is that Letterman somehow gets a ratings boost out of this, and continues his being a pri … (ahem) … continues being prickly and petty about it, and buries Leno. Everybody’s lost some face here, but IMHO, Conan’s lost the least. And in the Obamaconomy, he’s managed to get himself what may be the last golden parachute in American history.

    L.N. Smithee (23aa8b)

  23. Which means that steve is talking out of his ginormous blowhole again.

    What’s with the animosity dmac? I thought we were on the same side re most of the really important stuff. I’ve always especially enjoyed your responses to a certain LA-based black/gay/Jewish film-critiquing commenter here (who shall remain nameless, and seems to have altogether quit coming here as of late).

    I stand by how I currently feel about Leno, but that doesn’t mean Conan gets a free pass whatsoever. What he chooses in the near future to do with his precious $30 mil will say volumes about his character as well, especially with regard to the points about Conan’s staff, who just made the not-so-easy NY-to-LA transition. If Conan should leave them stranded to surround himself with a bunch of up-and-coming Beverly Hills trustfundies, rest assured I won’t be in any hurry to boost his ratings whichever network they benefit.

    qdpsteve (5eb540)

  24. Conan is funny and talented. I am sorry his dreams were crushed, like so many other americans. He can only sob and try to sleep on that pallet stacked high with $100 bills that NBC paid him.

    Californio (2b503c)

  25. Hell. I’ll not do the Tonight Show for 4 steak dinners at Outback. With unlimited Bloomin’ Onions per meal o’course.

    peedoffamerican (2c18e1)

  26. What’s with the animosity dmac? I thought we were on the same side re most of the really important stuff.

    My apologies, steve. I was thinking of the other steve, who has quite a different outlook on most things, if you’ll recall. So while I disagree with your earlier statement, please forgive the snark.

    Dmac (539341)

  27. BTW, are you using two different monikers now? I’m confused, I had no idea that qdp steve and steve sturm were one and the same person. Color me confused.

    Dmac (539341)

  28. No, I’m the original qdpsteve dmac! Accept no substitutions! :-)

    In the meantime, apologies back that I missed Steve Sturm (whom I most definitely am not). Better pick up the pace on getting my Prozac prescription refilled…

    qdpsteve (5eb540)

  29. The urinatedoffamerican wrote:

    Hell. I’ll not do the Tonight Show for 4 steak dinners at Outback. With unlimited Bloomin’ Onions per meal o’course.

    “I don’t mind a parasite. I object to a cut-rate one.” — Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca

    (Please ignore comment # 19)

    The full-price Dana (474dfc)

  30. The real villains in this are the network suits, not the contacted talents.

    Unfortunately for Leno’s rep, he has a sour history in these dust-ups from his triumph over Letterman, as Bill Carter chronicled. Leno’s careful courting of network affiliates is what helped him get the ‘Tonight Show’ gig in the first place. But execs like Zucker and Ebersol crafted this trainwreck, not Leno or O’Brien. Zucker’s recent history is self-evident with the decline of NBC primetime but Ebersol’s matter-of-factly saying NBCU will lose $200 million on the Winter Olympics before a single even is aired should alarm stockholders. Especially as a few days later he slams O’Brien for not taking his advice. And Michael’s SNL has been habitually painful to watch for months. Might just be time for a fresh generation of execs to helm comedy matters at NBCU. O’Brien will flourish at Fox.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

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