Thursday, January 21, 2010
NBC and Conan O'Brien Reach $45 Million Exit Deal
NBC has reached a $45 million agreement with Conan O'Brien to end his short run as host of "The Tonight Show" so that Jay Leno can return as the face of the late-night comedy show.
Of the total amount, about $33 million will go to O'Brien and $12 million will go to his staff.
Under the deal, he will be allowed to return to television in September. ABC has said they are not interested in Conan while Fox may be a possibility depending on whether local affiliates would clear such a deal.
O'Brien's last episode of "The Tonight Show" will be on Friday. "The Tonight Show" will then run repeats until February 11th, when it's pre-empted for the Winter Olympics. Leno will return to the program on Monday, March 1st.
Here is the official statement by NBC and Conan O'Brien:
NBC and Conan O'Brien have reached a resolution of the issues surrounding O'Brien's contract to host "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien."
Under terms of an agreement that was signed earlier today, NBC and O'Brien will settle their contractual obligations and the network will release O'Brien from his contract, freeing him to pursue other opportunities after September 1, 2010.
O'Brien will make his final appearance as host of "The Tonight Show" on January 22.