Conan O’Brien will end his self-titled TBS late-night show “Conan” in June 2021, WarnerMedia announced Tuesday.
The announcement marks an end to an eleven-year run for O’Brien on the cable network. His travel specials, “Conan Without Borders,” will continue to air on TBS going forward. In addition, O’Brien has signed a deal with HBO Max for a new weekly variety series, though no premiere date has been set for that series.
With the announcement, “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” will be the sole late-night show on TBS. That series was renewed for a fifth season last year.
“In 1993 Johnny Carson gave me the best advice of my career: ‘As soon as possible, get to a streaming platform,’” O’Brien said. “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 famously came to TBS in 2010 from NBC. There he had hosted “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” for over 15 years before he was tapped to take over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno. However, after NBC attempted to move the primetime series “The Jay Leno Show” to late-night and push back “The Tonight Show” to the 12:05 a.m. timeslot, O’Brien quit the show rather than “participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction,” he said at the time.
“28 years is a monumental achievement in late-night television,” said Brett Weitz, general manager for TNT, TBS and truTV. “We’re incredibly proud of the groundbreaking work that Conan and his team have accomplished during the 10 years at TBS and are so glad that we will continue to have his presence on our air with the ‘Conan Without Borders’ specials. We celebrate his success and are glad to see it grow across our WarnerMedia family.”
O’Brien has filmed multiple travel specials since 2015, though the first to be branded under the “Conan Without Borders” banner came in 2017. To date, he has filmed specials in countries such as Mexico, Israel, Haiti, Greenland, and Cuba.
“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,” said Casey Bloys, chief content officer of HBO and HBO Max.
News of the end of “Conan” on TBS comes as the cable industry faces increasingly stiff competition from streaming services. Multiple media giants, such as NBCUniversal and Disney, have undergone restructuring in the past year to emphasize their streaming product over linear channels.
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