Nikki Finke reported that Jeff Zucker was threatening to “ice” Conan O’Brien, by holding him to a three-and-a-half-year no-compete clause in his contract.
Then EPN’s Bill Simmons got in on the act, reporting on Twitter than Conan’s staff was looking for work and that Conan’s last show would be in two weeks. And then, TMZ delivered the news that Jay Leno has completed his deal with NBC the backstabbing devil to return to 11:35PM, for an hour, with a show called The Tonight Show. FUCK and NO.
Now, according to the Hollywood Reporter, NBC is denying TMZ’s report that it has made a deal with Leno? Zucker, of course, is still a douche, who gets taken down a peg by Maureen Dowd, of all people.
Still, lost in all of this is Conan. Because NBC and Jay Leno will keep on trudging along their path of destructive unfunny comedy, like vampiric cockroaches after a nuclear winter. Conan, however, will probably jump to FOX. And that’s when things become tricky. According to a report in today’s Broadcasting & Cable, Fox affiliates have been crunching the numbers and stand to “lose millions” if they are forced to give up reruns in favor of Conan. Affiliate stations “fall somewhere between lukewarm and intrigued about the notion of O’Brien shifting to their late night air.” This is now the story to watch.