THR has the story as Conan continues to more than double Letterboy's numbers and making himself irresistible to Fox if they want to pivot youthward. And in the meantime, Zucker continues a**hole haggling over severance for Conan's staff, many of whom relocated:
The fine print in question continues to be severance protection for the "Tonight" staff.
Meanwhile, the imminent departure agrees very well with O'Brien. The pressure to adapt his quirky persona to the broader "Tonight" and to improve the show's ratings is gone. He is fearless, his jokes are sharper, and his ratings are through the roof.
In the local market overnights for Tuesday night, he scored a 1.9 rating in adults 18-49, crushing CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman" (0.7)
And in his opening monologue Wednesday night, he lobbed such zingers as "I should have known something was up when NBC sent me that 2010 calendar that only went up to January." Talk about a great audition for the young-skewing Fox, whose brass are getting higher and higher on launching an O'Brien-fronted daily talk show in the fall.It looks like they could finally open formal talks on Thursday.
I for one enjoyed Conan's short, but snappy run and hope he keeps Andy Richter, whom I enjoy very much. I'd stay up to watch him on Fox, where he doesn't have the human rubbish NBC corporates lurking and loitering around scaring sane people.