Fox Says Conan O'Brien "Would Be a Great Fit"
With no official word on the future of NBC's late-night lineup, current Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien came out swinging Friday, both on the air and off, amid reports he may be bumped back to 12:05/11:05c.
After remaining mum Thursday night, O'Brien addressed the many rumors swirling about himself and Jay Leno during his monologue on Friday's The Tonight Show. O'Brien discussed everything from the possibility that he and Leno may simultaneously air at 11:35 via split screen and that he and Leno may join Jersey Shore together as "The Awkward Situation" to the possibility that each host is pregnant with the other's baby.
"We've got a great show for you tonight. I have no idea what time it will air — but it's going to be a great show," O'Brien said.
Leno, who himself joked about traveling to Fox on Thursday's episode of The Jay Leno Show, continued to joke about his own ambiguous future during his monologue Friday. "I guess you've heard these rumors that NBC is talking about canceling our show. You know what that means? I didn't sleep with any of my staff for nothing!" Leno said Friday. "Actually, if they did cancel us, it would be an easy move because I still haven't unpacked from the last time they canceled us."
With many outlets, such as The New York Times, continuing to report about Leno's imminent return to his former 11:35/10:35c spot following the 2010 Olympics, the big question now seems to be whether O'Brien will agree to move back a half an hour or if he will jump the NBC ship and move to another network.
NBC reportedly moving Leno back to 11:35 with O'Brien following him
Fox, for one, seems open to the possibility of welcoming O'Brien. "We've always been interested in late night and we're always looking to bring great new talent to Fox. While Conan would be a great fit for Fox, he's still under contract with NBC, so we'll just see how all of this plays out," a Fox employee told the Times.
ABC, however, did not share Fox's sentiment. "With all due respect to Conan, we like the late night hand that we are currently playing," the network behind Jimmy Kimmel Live! told The Associated Press.
NBC has not released any official statement on the future of their late-night lineup, and it's still unknown whether NBC will make a formal announcement at it's Television Critics Association panel Sunday.