All the experts were taken by surprise today, when it was announced that Conan O'Brien will end up hosting a new show, at 11pm eastern Monday through Thursday, on cable channel TBS. Most people thought he'd end up on the Fox broadcast network, even though "clearance" would have been impossible on most of their stations around the country. (Fox network programming ends at 10pm eastern, at which time most of their stations do local news, and after that at 11:00, they run old, syndicated sitcoms, like Seinfeld or Everybody Loves Raymond.) It would be difficult to convince many of their stations to drop those profitable reruns at 11 to let Fox air Conan on their stations. But this is a big coup for TBS.
Congrats to Conan!
Unless Jay Leno sells off a couple of cars and buys TBS, Conan will begin in November.