Conan O’Brien’s major comedy competition when he joins TBS later this year will likely be Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central.
Stewart and Colbert have signed contracts with Comedy Central that will keep them in their respective 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. weekday timeslots through the 2012 presidential election, the New York Times’ Media Decoder blog reports.
According to the report, Doug Herzog, the president of MTV Networks Entertainment Group, said that the contract extensions fo the two men are “[A] big deal for us. For us, election years are like Olympic years."
While the contracts weren’t directly related to Conan O’Brien’s move to TBS in November, Herzog said the network did have some preliminary talks with O’Brien, although not about a late-night show. He added he would have liked to sign up Stewart and Colbert for longer in the most recent deals, which locks Colbert into the network until Dec. 31, 2012 and Stewart for six months after that.