News / TV

Conan moving to half-hour format in 2019, leading national stand-up comedy tours

After 25 years hosting an hourly late-night talk show, Conan O’Brien will begin his 26th year by transitioning to host of a newly-formatted nightly half-hour program, plus the added task of hosting national stand-up comedy tours with Team Coco approved comedians.

“Since I inherited my Late Night show in 1993, TV has changed exponentially. I’d like to think I have evolved with many of these changes, but now it’s time to take the next leap.  A half-hour show will give me the time to do a higher percentage of the comedy in, and out, of the studio that I love and that seems to resonate in this new digital world,” O’Brien said today about the changes. “It’s still going to be me hosting a very silly show, but I want segments on my half-hour program to link to digital content, deepening the experience for my younger fans, and confusing my older ones.”

Conan will continue to air four nights a week on TBS in 2019 in “a new, less structured 30-minute format that will have guests and a variety of segments drawn from the newly expanded Team Coco portfolio.”

That means more of the stuff outside of the studio (think of Conan in a car with Kevin Hart, for example). Conan also will keep going outside of the country for regular hourlong Conan Without Borders international specials, too.

The newest venture is Team Coco making talent deals with comedians to produce original digital material as well as book them on tours hosted by O’Brien.

Also also also…

Team Coco will continue adding and growing projects such as “Clueless Gamer.”

And most important perhaps to the most devoted Conan fans, they’ve arranged to make O’Brien’s entire catalogue from Late Night with Conan O’Brien on NBC and CONAN on TBS available digitally. Back from the Internet dead!

“Starting out on Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons, through Late Night and my work with TBS, one of the great joys of my life has been collaborating with brilliantly funny people.  This new venture with TBS will give me a platform to nurture exciting young talent and find the right place for their gifts in a crowded and chaotic landscape,” O’Brien remarked about the new venture.  “My goal is to be ‘Red Lobster,’ only instead of affordable seafood we make comedy, and every customer gets a bib.  I wish I had thought this through.”

From the execs…

“Conan has always been a fearless performer and now, at the top of his form, I’m excited he’s taking a gutsy step forward with us into new arenas,” said Kevin Reilly, president of TBS and TNT and chief creative officer of Turner Entertainment.

Billy Parks, who recently served as Executive Vice President of Creative and Content Strategy at Otter Media, was hired to become Team Coco’s Chief Brand Officer. Parks said: “Not only does Conan have an epic history of working on one of the most prestigious and long running shows in comedy, the way he and his team have evolved the show over the past five years to create touch points that weave linear, digital and live for fans and brands is impressive. I am excited to be a part of the team as TBS and Team Coco double down on being funny everywhere.”

“This natural evolution of the show and expansion of the brand gives us a unique opportunity to reach fans in ways we never could have dreamed of when we started this show 25 years ago. Billy Parks will be an integral part of our continued success and advancement in creating exciting opportunities across all platforms,” added Jeff Ross, Conan’s longtime executive producer.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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