Conan O'Brien is less than a month away from hitting the road, but whether his TV itinerary brings him to the Fox network remains uncertain.
"To the best of my knowledge, no pressure has been asserted on any Fox affiliates [by the network]," Fox affiliates Chairman Bill Brady told Broadcasting & Cable. "There's nothing definitive on Conan right now. If Fox decides to do something, they'll weigh in with [the board]."
Fox network president: "I love Conan"
O'Brien resumed talks with Fox earlier this week after a two-week stall in negotiations, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The network has long been considered a likely candidate to bring former Tonight Show host back to late night since he left The Tonight Show in January after only seven months.
However, because most Fox stations currently air profitable reruns of syndicated programs beginning at 11/10c, a move to introduce original late-night programming would have to be approved by Fox owned-and-operated TV stations and affiliates, and Brady.
Fox boss says he needs to be convinced Conan would be profitable
"Conan doesn't seem to be on the front burner," Brady told the site. "If it was, I'd be hearing about it."
Under his exit deal with NBC, O'Brien is not allowed to return to TV until May 1.
Rupert Murdoch, the head of Fox's parent company News Corp., told The Wall Street Journal in February that Fox TV executives Peter Rice and Kevin Reilly would have to "show us we can do it and be fairly confident of making a profit" in order for the network to team up with O'Brien.
O'Brien's live comedy tour, titled "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour," kicks off on April 12 in Eugene, Ore.