Early last year, we reported on a rumor that Conan O’Brien’s Conan show on TBS was considering a move to a weekly format instead of airing every night. TBS denied the story, and Conan remained a nightly show, but now it is getting a change to its format. As announced in a press release, Conan will switch to a new 30-minute format starting next year, with the show being “less structured” than the hour-long format it currently has.
Speaking with Deadline, O’Brien said that the show’s set will change (though it will remain in L.A.) and he will probably do shows on the road more often, but each episode will probably still have one celebrity interview. O’Brien explained that the idea to change the show’s setup partly came from his “Conan Without Borders” series of special episodes, where he leaves the studio to visit another country. “It completely changed my opinion of what these shows can be,” he added, saying that it was difficult to plan for these elaborate trips while still working on several hours of shows each week.
Mostly, though, this is all about the changing tastes of the TV audience, with O’Brien adding that he’d rather do new things that he’s “passionate about” rather than sticking with an established format simply because it’s what he was “handed in 1993.”