In a brilliantly frank and decisive counterattack in the ongoing NBC late show battle, Conan O'Brien issued an eloquent, respectful, pointed, and funny statement about his future at the network yesterday. In the press release, O'Brien made it clear that he doesn't want sympathy stating, "For 17 years, I've been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I've been absurdly lucky."
But clearly there is no love lost between Conan and what he (understandably) feels are unsupportive execs who many agree put a huge ding in the hosts ratings by putting Leno at 10:30. "It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both."
And while it's hard to imagine that his decision isn't at least partially ego driven (and who can blame him for that), Conan clearly has the legacy of the iconic series in mind as well. "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."
We couldn't agree with Conan more and we refuse to sit passively back and let NBC destroy "The Tonight Show" and banish Conan. We've started a petition to let the Network know how we (and hopefully you) feel. Add your name to our Keep Conan list and keep late night safe.
Read the full press release here.