Conan/Leno Deal Signed

Worth more than $40 million; last show will be Friday.

January 21, 2010 - The Wrap broke the news late last night that a deal has finally been signed, ending the relationship between Conan O'Brien and NBC. An NBC spokesperson states that an official announcement will be coming today, giving Conan and NBC time to promote tomorrow's (Friday, Jan. 22) Tonight Show as Conan's last.

The deal is estimated to be worth more than $40 million, with Conan personally receiving about $30 million. A major sticking point for the negotiations has been NBC's severance package for the Tonight Show staffers; it's reported that O'Brien will divert some of his settlement into a fund for exiting staffers.

People close to the deal report that NBC will indeed own the rights to all of the bits and characters that Conan's created at Late Night & Tonight Show for the past 17 years, such as Masturbating Bear and In the Year 3000.

The terms of the deal reportedly state that Conan will be free to go back on television September 1; FOX has reportedly expressed interest.

For a rundown of Conan's final guests for Thursday and Friday, check out our story from yesterday. You can also listen to IGN TV's latest Channel Surfing podcast for our thoughts on the situation.


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