It's no April Fools' joke: Conan has been renewed!
TBS has extended the late-night show hosted by Conan O'Brien through November 2015, the cable network announced today. The news comes as the ginger-topped host--who landed at TBS in late 2010 after a highly publicized ill-fated stint as host of NBC's The Tonight Show—is about to begin filming a week's worth of episodes in Atlanta to celebrate the NCAA Men's Final Four.
While O'Brien draws a significantly smaller audience than the shows hosted by broadcast network counterparts David Letterman, Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel, Conan's viewers are the youngest of any late-night talk show—a feat that makes it particularly appealing to advertisers. Plus, O'Brien's a hit on social media, with the host and his show drawing more than 8.3 million followers on Twitter, 2 million fans on Facebook, 2 million unique users each month on TeamCoco.com and 15 million video views each month on TeamCoco.com and YouTube.
"When we invited Conan to come to TBS, we knew he would bring with him a passionately loyal following of young adults," said Michael Wright, president and head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies. The exec added that Conan has become "the top late-night brand in the digital arena. We're proud to extend our relationship with Conan as he continues to forge the future of late night. I just wish we didn't decide to tell him on April Fools' Day."
The renewal—and the job security that comes with it—is surely a welcome development for O'Brien, who briefly took over for Leno as Tonight Show host in 2009, only to be replaced by him a few months later. Recent reports have suggested that Jimmy Fallon, who currently hosts NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, is being groomed to take over for Leno when his contract expires in 2014.