Turner CEO John Martin told The Wrapat CES last night that the nightly show has taken a beating in the ratings as it competes with series like The Daily Show, but a weekly offering could help it stand out. The reason for the change isn't all that shocking, even if it's not encouraging either.
Conan regularly gets lower ratings than the Daily Show and is often beat out by Watch What Happens Live on Bravo. According to Nielsen ratings, O'Brien's show averaged 638,000 viewers per episode in the fourth quarter of 2016.
I have mixed feelings about this. Conan's sense of humor is, to some, an acquired taste after all these years, so perhaps reducing some of the work load for Conan's show may actually benefit his late night legacy in the long run as well.
The new Conan will be a weekly, one-hour show, though it's not yet known when the switcheroo will occur.
Conan airs at 11 pm weeknights on TBS. With younger people drawn towards the political comedy of late night shows, there's not much of a place left for Conan to have a traditional talk show. He subsequently took over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno, then NBC panicked about pissing Leno off and swiftly kicked Conan out, put Leno back in, and then replaced Leno once more with Jimmy Fallon. Forget the monologue and interviews with people who we've seen talk boringly a million other times and who probably just went viral singing in a vehicle.