And then there was one. Week, that is.
"FYI: Next week is Conan's final week hosting the Tonight Show," ESPN's Los Angeles-based Sports Guy Bill Simmons tweeted this morning, and setting off the countdown clock. "His staff is trying to book big guests so he goes out with a bang. It's true."
Network sources and O'Brien insiders confirm to E! News that he and his Tonight crew will be on hiatus the last week of January, but claimed that the break had been planned for months and that the show would continue to book guests as usual.
Meanwhile, the Peacock peeps are also denying a TMZ report that the backstabbing and backlashed Jay Leno has signed a new contract with NBC reinstating him as the host of The Tonight Show at his old time slot of 11:35 p.m.
But if next week turns out to be O'Brien's swan song, he apparently wants to make it memorable...
According to The New York Times, talk-show guest extraordinaire Tom Hanks will join O'Brien on Tuesday, while historic ratings-grabber Howard Stern—whose both outspokenness and openly public hatred of Leno cannot be overstated—is said to be on top of Conan's wish list.
We can't imagine why. We also can't blame him.
(Originally published Jan. 14, 2009, at 2:19 p.m. PT)
Leno's move out of the 10 p.m. slot is a done deal. Lucky for you, WWK has all the details on NBC's revamped prime-time schedule right here.