“Conan” is staying on TBS through the year 2022, thanks to a new four-year renewal the channel just signed with host Conan O’Brien and Team Coco, the digital extension of the show. What the show will look like by then, however, is a bit of an open question.
The deal includes avenues for O’Brien to extend the show and its sensibility into a bunch of other outlets, ranging from podcasts to gaming. O’Brien also hints that he may be ready to move the on-air “Conan” beyond the usual desk-and-couch format for late-night talk shows.
“The TV landscape has changed dramatically since I inherited the traditional talk show format in 1993,” O’Brien says in a statement. “In the past few years I’ve stumbled across many new and exciting ways of connecting with my audience, and I’m eager to evolve my show into something leaner, more agile, and more unpredictable. I also want a pony.”
There was talk earlier this year about “Conan” potentially scaling back from four nights a week to one or two, in part to allow O’Brien and his crew to do more things like his travel shows. “Conan” has originated from Cuba, Mexico, South Korea, Germany, Armenia and Qatar in the past couple years.
It’s unclear if that’s what O’Brien means by a “leaner” show; for now “Conan” will remain a four-night-a-week show. Conaco, the production company headed by O’Brien and Jeff Ross, will continue to develop other shows for TBS as well. It produces “People of Earth” and the forthcoming animated show “Final Space.”
“Conan continues to prove his vibrancy night after night and his incredible command of the digital and social space has only built on his young, connected audience,” TBS and TNT president Kevin Reilly says. “This next chapter will provide support for Conan and Jeff to expand the boundaries from a ‘talk show’ to a range of personality- based, cross-platform experiences.”