What are the legal ramifications of the NBC late-night shake-up? - Featured

With Conan O'Brien refusing to perform a 12:05 A.M. Tonight Show and even broadcasting a send-off type show, one has to wonder what language is in his contract and if he can sue NBC for breach. Or, for that matter, if NBC can sue him for breach when he (presumably) walks off the program. Reuters even has an online analysis which doesn't go into great detail but gives a general idea of the issues involved.



The difference between O'Brien's contract and Letterman's contract from his legendary move to CBS is that the latter specified a time slot for The Tonight Show, whereas the former did not. Conan should be haranguing his lawyers for that screw-up.


While Conan is firmly in the right on this matter, the sad probability is that having Leno back at 11:35 P.M. will likely boost NBC's sagging ratings. They may even beat out Letterman again. Those on "Team Conan" can at least comfort themselves knowing that he will not go gentle unto that good night.


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