Tonight: Conan O'Brien returns to television


You rushed to his support when NBC yanked the Tonight Show gig out from under him. You followed his Twitter feed. You packed sold-out venues across the country to watch him recycle a few bits from Late Night and sing a straightforward rendition of "The Weight" (or so I heard; I wasn't there or anything). 

So then . . . are you going to watch Conan O'Brien's new show on TBS tonight?

It seems like a fair question, right? Until that amazing last couple of weeks, there really weren't that many people watching The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (relatively speaking, of course), and in the months since, it seems like there's been a turn away from the "traditional" talk shows hosted by David Letterman and Jay Leno (ratings have sunk like a stone for both lately) - which will probably be what this show is. Add to that competition from The Daily Show (which won the 18-49 demographic over Letterman and Leno recently) and the Colbert Report, and this could be a recipe for relative non-success for O'Brien after the euphoria of the first few weeks wears off. 

I don't mean to sound harsh. I am a fan, and I am looking forward to watching the show tonight. These first few weeks should be pretty good. It will be tough to get a sense of much of anything based on tonight, but it will still probably be worth a look: 11 pm on TBS.

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