Plenty of people are surprised that Conan O'Brien has chosen TBS as the new venue for his nightly talk show, but the news could have been even more unusual and particularly related to gaming. As Deadline Hollywood reports, Team Conan was in talks with Microsoft to become exclusive to the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live as downloadable program of some sort. How's that for a killer app?
A lot of showbiz reporters got it wrong speculating about where Conan would land. They were fixated on Fox and assumed he would only go to a network. But the fact is that, we knew from the very beginning, Team Conan (including his exec producer Jeff Ross, and WME's Rick Rosen, and manager Gavin Palone, and Ziffren Brittenham attorney Sam Fischer), were thinking way outside the network box. For instance, there were discussions with Microsoft about an Xbox deal for Conan's show that would have broken new ground. And yes, discussions took place with Fox. Long presumed the most natural choice for the comedian, who had been clear that he was only interested in a nightly talk show, the sticking point was clearing a time slot behind the late evening news where the Fox O&O [owned and operated] and affiliate stations all have long-term syndication deals.
Don't be too baffled at the idea of Conan on a Xbox-exclusive talk show. Had that deal gone ahead, I'd have bought a Xbox 360 to watch him. Somehow I doubt that I'm alone in that. How's that for the new media revolution and the battle of the living room? For the first time a game console would have had a non-gaming product driving sales.