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Conan O'Brien's talk show shifting from one-hour to half-hour format

The television landscape is changing, and viewers are consuming content on their phones – often in bits and pieces – more than ever before. This is why Conan O'Brien is switching things up a bit with this TBS talk show, CONAN, and will shift the show from the traditional one-hour format to a half-hour show. The move comes after a decision to move away from standard talk show filler, such as multiple guests, allowing O’Brien to focus more on the comedy aspect of the show.

Variety reports that O’Brien and Co. have decided to make the change as a way of delivering a leaner show, and one that can be shared and monetized more easily across the current television consumption landscape. “I was looking for something more lean and agile,” he said while talking with journalists yesterday. “I’ve been pushing for something that fits the modern landscape, certainly fits the way I interact with my fans more.”

Along with the shift to the show, O’Brien (and his company, Conaco LLC) will also spend more time focusing on greater “comedy ventures” with TBS, which involve more live comedy shows, podcasts, mobile game, digital content and more. As well, O’Brien will unveil a new website that will allow viewers to watch his entire back catalog of episodes from his time on “Late Night” on NBC, as well as his seven-month run on “The Tonight Show.”

Many talk shows have found success with past segments going viral online, like James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke,” or Jimmy Fallon’s “Lip Sync Battle,” and O’Brien believes if that’s what the fans want, that’s what they shall have. “If there’s a way, a possibility that we can find other ways to spin off something if I feel like it is worth people’s time and something that people might enjoy, yeah, that’s a possibility,” he said.

The changes will begin to take place in January 2019. But don’t worry, CONAN fans, because O’Brien wants you all to know this is not going to result in a massive, cataclysmic shift in what he’s already been doing.

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." 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.

It will be interesting to see how this all works out. So many talk show hosts are sticking to the usual model of things and seeing how Conan works with the new format could fascinating. The half-hour thing works for John Oliver, who does a half-hour show once a week. It allows him to address one recent news element, and then one longer, more investigative piece. I don't expect Conan to do the same, but I'm very much in favor of more "Clueless Gamer."

Source: Variety

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