Why is Conan cutting half an hour from the show? Recently, host Conan O’Brien spoke with Vulture about the upcoming changes to the TBS TV show.
As reported earlier, the late-night show will change to a half-hour format in 2019. The series, which features sketches, celebrity interviews, stand-up, and music, has been an hour long since it debuted in 2010.
In the interview, O’Brien explained the format change for Conan, saying he’s bored with the hour-long format and wants to shake things up:
Yeah, and it was the travel showsTravel bits featuring O’Brien hamming it up with locals were first introduced on Late Night and continued, with increasing ambition and regularity, on Conan, where the show enjoys a ratings spike whenever the specials premiere. Related: As part of his web series Conan Without Borders, he guest-starred in a Mexican telenovela as a Mennonite cheese merchant, and listened to residents of Port-au-Prince roast Trump shortly after the president’s “shithole countries” comment. we did that changed my thinking. There was no one standing over me saying, “This is what those shows have to be.” It was just, “Let’s go do them.” I didn’t even know what they were — I guess like Anthony Bourdain without any learning — but the more I did those shows, the more I felt, I’m passionate about these and the comedy and I like interviews but does it have to be three guests a night? There are parts of late night that feel very pro forma. At this stage in my career doing half an hour could shock me into coming up with new stuff.”
And what else will the change entail? O’Brien says the TBS series might expand into more online content and a live tour:
I understand that perspective, but the truth is that the initial resistance to half an hour came from the business side. They didn’t want to stop selling an hour’s worth of ads. But we’re not going to be giving them less content. We might even be making more content and just putting more of it directly onlineConan’s increasing web focus has been aided by a ton of original videos, extended skits, and outtakes of favorites like Clueless Gamer, all posted to the Team Coco website.. We’re hoping to expand out into possible comedy tours and other ventures. I don’t know — I think we fit better in the current environment at half an hour. It’s possible this change ends up being a bad business decision. But I don’t think it will be.”
What do you think? Do you watch Conan? Do you agree with the format change?