Conan Boosts ’60 Minutes’ Ratings; Separately, TMZ, Citing Sources, Reports that Despite What Conan Says, Leno Payout Would Have Been About Same as O’Brien’s

May 4, 2010  •  Post A Comment

In his first interview since departing late-night, Conan O’Brien’s appearance on "60 Minutes" was Sunday’s highest rated evening program, drawing 13.3 million viewers for the CBS program, the New York Times reports.

Separately, contrary to what O’Brien said on his Sunday "60 Minutes" interview that the payout for Jay Leno to leave NBC would have been about $150 million, TMZ.com reports that it would have been about the same as O’Brien’s roughly $33 million deal. The TMZ.report cites unnamed network sources.

O’Brien’s interview pushed up "60 Minute" fast affiliate ratings by .6 ratings points, which represents a 38% increase from last week’s "anemic" rating in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, reports TVbytheNumbers.com . (You can watch O’Brien’s interview here.) After the O’Brien interview, the rest of CBS’ prime-time schedule was down, with "The Amazing Race" slipping 6% from last week’s rating, TVbythe Numbers said.

O’Brien also said during the "60 Minutes" interview that it wasn’t possible his hosted "Tonight Show" would have lost money, as NBC has publicly stated. Says the TMZ report, "NBC sources say the show would not only have lost more than $5 million this year had they kept Conan on, but the loss was specifically discussed with Conan — ‘They were well-informed of that fact,’ said one source.’ "


  1. There is no way you can use TMZ as a credible source. This is like the NY Times citing the National Enquirer as a source for a story they wrote.

  2. I’ve lost a lot of respect for Conan because of that interview.
    With so many of his supporter whining that Jay should have just stepped aside, I’d say Conan’s become the poster child for the entitlement generation (tailend baby boomers and their offspring).

  3. The National Enquirer was first (and completely accurate) with the Jon Edwards story. TMZ has scooped the major media, too. Don’t be such a media snob. Just because it isn’t in the New York Times doesn’t mean that it never happened. How many weeks did it take the NYT to acknowledge the Edwards love-child scandal?

  4. That reply was intended for the other guy, not you, John.

  5. It’s all business and it was a bad deal from the beginning. We armchair critics have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. The best we can do is vote with our remotes. If Dave doesn’t have any compelling guests, find a good book to read until Craig Ferguson comes on.

  6. Music is the development of sound to reach the soul for the learning of its virtue.

  7. Love the blog here. Nice colors. I am definitely staying tuned to this one. Hope to see more.

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