Conan O’Brien, capping a 28-year career in late-night TV, will end his nightly TBS talk show on June 24, WarnerMedia announced Monday.
Next month’s “Conan” finale was initially revealed last fall, with Monday’s follow-up announcement promising a lineup of special guests in the final weeks, although no names were shared.
The finale of the late-night series (Monday through Thursday, 10 p.m.) will run for an hour, double the length of an episode in the show’s current form, and “will look back on the past 11 years of this iteration of O’Brien’s lengthy late-night career.”
Fans shouldn’t worry about O’Brien disappearing, however. After “Conan” ends, the host, 58, will pivot from his current perch at TBS to a weekly variety series on HBO Max, which WarnerMedia has made a top priority. It will be “a departure” from his current talk-show format, the company says.
The November announcement capped speculation that had percolated since 2017, predating the new streaming service.
“In 1993, Johnny Carson gave me the best advice of my career: ‘As soon as possible, get to a streaming platform,’” O’Brien joked in a statement last fall. “I’m thrilled that I get to continue doing whatever the hell it is I do on HBO Max, and I look forward to a free subscription.”
O’Brien, a Harvard-educated former “Simpsons” writer, began his late-night career in the 1993 with “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” But his lifelong quest to fill “The Tonight Show” shoes of the legendary Johnny Carson proved short-lived, when NBC gave him the show, replacing Jay Leno, only to pull the rug out in January 2010. O’Brien left and landed at TBS, and is the longest-tenured late-night host.
In 2019, his show was reduced to a half-hour format, a precursor to its eventual demise, and in October he said his Los Angeles set had been burglarized. His travelogue series “Conan Without Borders” will continue as occasional specials on TBS and HBO Max.
“Conan’s unique brand of energetic, relatable, and at times, absurdist, comedy has charmed late-night audiences for nearly three decades. We can’t wait to see what he and the rest of Team Coco will dream up for this brand new, variety format each week,” Casey Bloys, chief content officer of HBO and HBO Max, said of Conan’s next project.
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