Conan O'Brien to end talk-show hosting run after 28 years, gets HBO Max variety series instead
After 28 years, Conan O'Brien is officially giving up the late-night show life, at least for now.
O'Brien took over Late Night on NBC from David Letterman in 1993, a position he held until 2009, when Jimmy Fallon took over the gig and O'Brien moved to host The Tonight Show for several months. That was followed by his namesake Conan on TBS in 2010. On Tuesday, WarnerMedia announced that Conan will officially end with the season 10 finale in June 2021.
The one thing surviving are his Conan Without Borders travel specials, which in the past have seen O'Brien tormenting his crew member Jordan Schlansky all across Italy and also heading to Greenland to find out what the country thinks of an America under President Donald Trump.
It definitely feels like the end of an era, but the start of a new one. Beginning in 2021, O'Brien will get his own weekly variety series for the HBO Max streaming platform.
"In 1993 Johnny Carson gave me the best advice of my career: 'As soon as possible, get to a streaming platform,'" O'Brien joked in a statement. "I’m thrilled that I get to continue doing whatever the hell it is I do on HBO Max, and I look forward to a free subscription."
"Twenty-eight years is a monumental achievement in late-night television," Brett Weitz, General Manager for TNT, TBS, and truTV, remarked. "We’re incredibly proud of the groundbreaking work that Conan and his team have accomplished during the 10 years at TBS and are so glad that we will continue to have his presence on our air with the Conan Without Borders specials. We celebrate his success and are glad to see it grow across our WarnerMedia family."
Last year, TBS made the move to reduce the hourlong Conan episodes down to a less-structured half-hour show. O'Brien still maintains his podcast, Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend, which he launched with co-hosts Sona Movsesian (his assistant) and Matt Gourley (his producer) in 2018.
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