Turner’s TBS and Conan O’Brien today announced an expanded partnership spanning television, digital, social and live events that will enable the late night icon to capitalize and interact with his multi-generational fan base across platforms. After 25 years on television and having amassed a deeply passionate and engaged fan base through the nightly show, travel specials, digital content, live events and fan interactions, Team Coco and TBS will take Conan’s enduring brand of comedy to his fans wherever they are. The expansion of Team Coco will be advanced by Billy Parks who has been named to the newly created position of Chief Brand Officer for the joint venture.
The longest tenured host in late night television will continue to evolve and reinvent the genre with major shifts to both his late night show and the creation and expansion of a joint Team Coco enterprise with TBS. CONAN will continue to air four nights a week on TBS, and in 2019 will unveil a new, less structured 30-minute format that will have guests and a variety of segments drawn from the newly expanded Team Coco portfolio.
“Since I inherited my Late Night show in 1993, TV has changed exponentially. I’d like to think I have evolved with many of these changes, but now it’s time to take the next leap. A half-hour show will give me the time to do a higher percentage of the comedy in, and out, of the studio that I love and that seems to resonate in this new digital world,” O’Brien said about the changes. “It’s still going to be me hosting a very silly show, but I want segments on my half-hour program to link to digital content, deepening the experience for my younger fans, and confusing my older ones.”
Team Coco’s initial 360-degree expansion efforts will include an array of talent deals with stand-up comedians driven by live touring and original digital material. Kicking-off in late 2018, O’Brien and his curated team of comics will hit the road on a multi-city tour hosted by O’Brien himself. As the late night show that features the most standup comedians on television, CONAN and TBS will introduce the newest and brightest comedic talent worldwide on multiple platforms.
Team Coco will continue to develop industry-leading branded linear and digital content, further strengthening the relationships between O’Brien’s comedic brand and advertising partners as new talent comes into the fold. The multi-platform hit franchise Clueless Gamer, which has been home to dozens of integrated partners, will serve as the model for how Team Coco can deliver brand relevance and impact for a growing list of branded partners.
“Conan has always been a fearless performer and now, at the top of his form, I’m excited he’s taking a gutsy step forward with us into new arenas,” said Kevin Reilly, president of TBS and TNT and chief creative officer of Turner Entertainment.
Billy Parks, a seasoned and well-respected creative executive will be vital to the growth of Team Coco’s new initiatives, working closely with longtime CONAN Executive Producer Jeff Ross. Parks most recently served as Executive Vice President of Creative and Content Strategy at Otter Media.
“This natural evolution of the show and expansion of the brand gives us a unique opportunity to reach fans in ways we never could have dreamed of when we started this show 25 years ago. Billy Parks will be an integral part of our continued success and advancement in creating exciting opportunities across all platforms,” added Jeff Ross.
Parks stated, “Not only does Conan have an epic history of working on one of the most prestigious and long running shows in comedy, the way he and his team have evolved the show over the past five years to create touch points that weave linear, digital and live for fans and brands is impressive. I am excited to be a part of the team as TBS and Team Coco double down on being funny everywhere. ”
CONAN will continue to take the show internationally in the vein of past shows such as Cuba, Mexico, Haiti and Israel, through his critically acclaimed CONAN Without Borders series. These hour-long specials have attracted passionate international audiences across multiple platforms and will continue to be an important part of the show’s portfolio. Additionally, in celebration of his 25 years on late night, Team Coco will be making O’Brien’s entire catalogue from Late Night with Conan O’Brien on NBC and CONAN on TBS available digitally.
“Starting out on Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons, through Late Night and my work with TBS, one of the great joys of my life has been collaborating with brilliantly funny people. This new venture with TBS will give me a platform to nurture exciting young talent and find the right place for their gifts in a crowded and chaotic landscape,” O’Brien remarked about the new venture. “My goal is to be ‘Red Lobster,’ only instead of affordable seafood we make comedy, and every customer gets a bib. I wish I had thought this through.”
CONAN airs Monday-Thursday at 11 p.m. (ET/PT) on TBS. The show is produced by Conaco LLC, with Jeff Ross serving as executive producer.