Conan tells Fortune: NBC like an 'Indiana Jones' Nazi [Updated]
[This blog entry has been updated]
The press has been distracted from the tragedy of Conan O'Brien's treatment at the hands of NBC long enough to write that Jon Stewart beat Conan's TBS late night show by half a million viewers in the ratings last month.
Time for Conan to ratchet up the Pity Party
In the latest issue of Fortune magazine Conan talks - some more - about what NBC did to him.
"In the new issue of Fortune, Conan O'Brien discusses his reinvention from traditional television performer to multimedia star, and contributor Douglas Warshaw reveals new details about the contentious break between O'Brien and NBC," Fortune magazine crowed in an email to the press.
New details and a movie-Nazi metaphor:
"You know that scene in the first 'Indiana Jones' movie where he gets thrown through the truck windshield by a Nazi? I was thrown through the windshield of broadcasting," Conan tells Fortune.
Fortune is owned by Time Warner. So too is TBS, where Conan has his new late night talk show. You and I might wonder why a Time Warner publication would want to remind the press, and America, one more time how Conan is still grieving about being out of the broadcast TV business, instead of wildly enthusiastic about now having a show on Time Warner's cable network TBS.
Conan's Fortune piece comes out at a time when the most recent full week of his TBS show (the week of Jan. 31) set new lows for originals (0.5 rating among 18-49 year old viewers who are the bread and butter of TV, and under 1 million viewers overall). Among the 18-34 year olds who are Conan's sweet spot, the week's crowd of 493,000 is one of his smallest yet for a week of originals.
In an email to the press, Fortune emphasized that in its interview, Conan also complains about being "legally prohibited from going on television" after leaving NBC. Conan was under contract to NBC when he decided to refuse to host "Tonight Show" if the network moved it later into the night to make room for Jay Leno's return to late night TV. NBC "legally prohibited" him from going on television, per terms of his exit deal, for eight months. He also got some money in that exit deal, we've heard.
Conan also compares himself to the Beatles in the article, Fortune noted. And Elvis.
And, on the subject of transforming himself from the "Tonight Show" host to multimedia star -- albeit one who got whomped by Jon Stewart in January -- Conan still sounds so bitter when he tells Fortune that, during his 8-month sentence to being off TV, his people began to hear that NBC was not happy with the things he was saying on Twitter.
Conan tells Fortune he told his peeps to inform NBC: "Tell them I would be thrilled if they shut down my Twitter account. I'd love it if that got out. You think PR's been bad up till now? Wait till you take away my Twitter account."
NBC declined to comment.
Lisa de Moraes
| February 10, 2011; 11:50 AM ET
Categories: Conan O'Brien
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