Conan O’Brien is making the move to streaming. In June of next year, his nightly talk show “Conan” will be ending its 10-year run on TBS, while he launches a new, weekly variety series on streaming service HBO Max.
“In 1993 Johnny Carson gave me the best advice of my career: ‘As soon as possible, get to a streaming platform,’ ” O’Brien said 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.”
The announcement doesn’t mention a launch date or any other details of the new show, but it does position this as an extension of O’Brien’s relationship with WarnerMedia, which owns both HBO Max and TBS. It also says that he will continue to make his “Conan Without Borders” travel specials for the cable network.
O’Brien is no stranger to reinvention. The one-time comedy writer (never forget that he wrote the beloved “Marge vs. the Monorail” episode of “The Simpsons”) made the transition to late-night host in the early ’90s, then moved to TBS after a notoriously truncated run as host of “The Tonight Show.”
More recently, he launched the podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” (which is an absolute delight). In fact, O’Brien joined us at this year’s Disrupt conference to discuss the podcast’s success.
When asked whether he planned to continue hosting late-night TV, O’Brien’s reply may have hinted at today’s news: “All of this is converging. I think the message that I would have for everybody watching TechCrunch Disrupt right now is that people need to open up their minds a little bit. If I’m making podcasts, it doesn’t prohibit me from also maybe doing something, it doesn’t have to necessarily be for Turner, it could be for anybody.”