CBS tried to get Conan O’Brien on board to host the Tonys in June, Deadline.com has reported, but O’Brien has turned down the gig.
Why he turned it down isn’t exactly clear. Deadline first reported that O’Brien "had to turn down the offer because of the restrictions NBC put on his activities until September 1st in exchange for that giant $40 million payout for himself and his Tonight Show staff."
Then Deadline.com did an update and wrote that O’Brien’s agreement with NBC just keeps him off TV until May 1st, and that the Tony gig is in June, so O’Brien probably turned down the gig because he just didn’t want to do it.
Next, Deadline updated the story again, writing that O’Brien’s deal is that he can be interviewed on TV after May 1st but couldn’t perform.
Anyway, to make a long story not quite so long, finally, in a 4th update to the story Deadline wrote, " Late tonight, "Team Coco" sources added this about "Team NBC": "I am of the understanding that he can’t do that kind of thing [hosting a show] until September. And you should ask what [NBC is] afraid of his saying that they have to gag him anyway? Seems like a lot to spend to keep someone quiet, if that is their intent. If he did the Tony’s and didn’t make jokes about the situation, it would be lame. He won’t take any job if he doesn’t think he’ll be great."