The plot thickens over at troubled NBC. “Tonight Show” host, Conan O’Brien, issued a statement today, in which he turns thumbs down on the NBC plan to give Jay Leno a half-hour comedy show at 11:35 p.m. In the statement, O’Brien claims shifting the “Tonight Show” to 12:05 a.m. is not an option he can accept:”For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show.”
O’Brien goes on to say: “My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction.”
You know, I’ve never been a real big O’Brien fan, however, I have to give the comedian his props for this bold statement. And he makes a lot of sense. Nikki Finke has the full O’Brien statement and more on the NBC mess over on her Deadline.com Hollywood site.