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The NBC fall and TBS rise of Conan O'Brien
NBC made the same mistake about latenight in 2010 that had caused such problems in 2009. Rather than choosing one of Jay Leno or Conan O'Brien, they again tried to keep both, and as a result set off a very public, ugly and at times hilarious feud with Conan, who refused to move "The Tonight Show" to tomorrow, became a cult hero named Coco, and delivered some of the best shows of his career in his final weeks on "Tonight."
Divorced from NBC, and unable to start another show (presumably at FOX) until the fall, Conan took advantage of his new cult status to tour the country with a live stage show. Then after negotiations with FOX fell through, Conan wound up taking his act to TBS, where he's been pretty handily beating both Jay and David Letterman in young viewers, while the re-Leno-fied "Tonight Show" is now doing worse than it did during Conan's brief tenure.
- Alan Sepinwall