May 4 (UPI) — Conan O’Brien will be introducing a new half-hour format to his latenight TBS talk show Conan, starting in January 2019.
O’Brien said the change will allow him to focus more on digital content and help him modernize the late-night talk show format, which traditionally involves hour-long episodes that feature multiple celebrity interviews.
O’Brien will also spend more time focusing on other ventures with TBS, including a live stand-up tour featuring emerging comedians and turning Conan segment Clueless Gamer into its own series. The 55-year-old also plans on launching a website that will allow fans to view his entire Late Night run from his time on NBC.
“Since I inherited my Late Night show in 1993, TV has changed exponentially. I’d like to think I have evolved with many of these changes, but now it’s time to take the next leap,” O’Brien said in a statement. “A half-hour show will give me the time to do a higher percentage of the comedy in, and out, of the studio that I love and that seems to resonate in this new digital world. It’s still going to be me hosting a very silly show, but I want segments on my half-hour program to link to digital content, deepening the experience for my younger fans, and confusing my older ones.”
O’Brien said that the changes coming to Conan are not radical ones in an interview with Variety.
“This is not, ‘Tune in, you’re going to see a whole new Conan with a shaved head and an eye patch and a falcon on his shoulder,”‘ he said. “This is going to be me doing comedy as you’ve seen me doing,and an interview, probably, with a celebrity every night instead of two or three. Everything else beyond that we’re going to find it by doing it.”
O’Brien signed a new deal with TBS in May 2017 that keeps Conan on the air through 2022.