Atlanta-based TBS scores Conan O’Brien in late night coup


His new TBS late night co-worker George Lopez was so excited he made the official announcement on his talk show “Lopez Tonight” Monday night: Ousted “Tonight Show” host Conan O’Brien will debut on the Atlanta-based network this November.

O’Brien’s new show will air at 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday nights on TBS as a lead in for Lopez’s new show that is doing very well with a younger demographic seemingly unfazed by the hilarity of Jay Leno‘s “Headlines” bits.

Riffed O’Brien on his official Twitter page: “The good news: I will be doing a show on TBS starting in November! The bad news: I’ll be playing Rudy on the all new Cosby Show.”

In an email to Intel, Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin explained that O’Brien “began talks in earnest with TBS just last week” after Lopez personally reached out to O’Brien (The former NBC employee was not eager for a repeat of his bitter skirmish with the recently reinstalled Leno after NBC essentially treated him like a red-haired stepchild last fall).

Said Koonin: Conan has been the comedic voice for a generation. TBS already has a huge audience of young comedy lovers and Conan’s show will give these fans even more reasons to watch our network.”

With the addition of O’Brien and Lopez, TBS now touts two hours of original late night comedy and talk programming that will join the network’s syndicated reruns, including “The Office,” “Family Guy” and Tyler Perry‘s two hit sitcoms on TBS.

Or as O’Brien himself riffed in the official TBS press release: “In three months, I’ve gone from network television to Twitter to performing live in theaters. Now I’m headed to basic cable. My plan is working perfectly.”

Still, we’re betting his new Atlanta bosses have a warm reception planned for O’Brien when his “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television” concert tour wraps up here at the Fox Theatre June 14.

In fact, they’re already busy promoting their high-profile hire with a special promo on the TBS website.