TBS is reportedly considering a programming move that would deal a major blow to Conan O’Brien’s TV presence. The New York Post reports that the cable channel is considering scaling back O’Brien’s nightly talk show to once a week.
“Conan” currently airs four nights a week, Monday-Thursday.
Turner Broadcasting CEO John Martin, whose company owns TBS, let the news slip in an interview with TheWrap at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Post notes that Martin, who commented that a weekly format would improve the show, reportedly thought the conversation was off the record.
“No decisions on any changes to O’Brien’s show have been made, a source noted, without ruling out tweaks to the format down the line,” The Post reports. “Rating for O’Brien’s show have been falling — from 1.4 million viewers when it debuted to 609,000 viewers of late.”
Turner, which The Post reports went into “full damage control” after word of the interview got out, released a statement saying: “Conan remains an invaluable franchise partner and producer for our TBS brand and we’ll be in business with him for a long time.”
The statement adds: “At this time, we have no plans to change the format or frequency of his popular TBS show. In addition to Conan’s daily responsibilities to his talk show, we continue to have very ambitious plans that will further broaden and evolve our relationship with Conan.”
In a related development today, a segment from O’Brien’s show is reportedly in the works as a separate series. Please click here to read our report.