Conan O’Brien took a gamble when he left NBC for TBS amid a bitter divorce, but he has not shied away from experimenting in some ways since making the move to basic cable for his late night shenanigans. Now we could be seeing Conan take on a pretty significant experiment by reducing the daily format to a weekly schedule instead.
According to a report from The Wrap, TBS is working on remodeling Conan’s late-night show from a daily format to a weekly format in order to take advantage of Conan’s performance on the road as opposed to in a permanent studio. Conan’s late-night show has generally fared better in the ratings when the show packs up and broadcasts on location instead of from the fixed studio, but does this mean Conan will be a traveling road show on a weekly basis? Potentially, although there are many details still to be worked out.
Going to a weekly format has its perks, and TBS has seen the benefit of that firsthand with Full Frontal, hosted by Daily Show alum Samantha Bee. A weekly format would also fall in line with other late night comedy shows like John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, where a week’s worth of the best possible content can be crammed into one weekly episode rather than stretching out the humor over the course of a full week. Conan’s sense of humor is, to some, an acquired taste after all these years, so perhaps reducing some of the work load for Conan’s show may actually benefit his late night legacy in the long run as well.
Of course, the real mission here is getting Conan to step away from the direct competition he faces, and gets thumped by in the ratings, on a nightly basis with The Daily Show on Comedy Central.
For now, there is no timeline on when any changes may be made to Conan’s show, and it is unknown how receptive and pleased the red-haired late night host is about the possibility of seeing his show altered so drastically. Could we be heading to another ugly late night showdown with Conan? Let’s hope not.