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Conan O'Brien tells NBC to take a hike

January 12, 2010 | 12:40 pm

Conan2
Conan O'Brien is not going to take one for the team. The host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" released a statement this afternoon saying that he would not move his show from 11:35 p.m. to 12:05 a.m. to make room for Jay Leno's return to late night.

Since news broke last week that NBC wanted to move Jay Leno out of prime time and put him back in late night, speculation has centered around whether O'Brien would be willing to move his show or walk. 

In a statement, O'Brien said that he was disappointed but "after only seven months with my "Tonight Show" in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their horrible difficulties in primetime in making a change in their long established late-night schedule.  ... So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it."

The decision will likely allow NBC to return the "Tonight Show" to Jay Leno, where it would run for a full hour.

-- Meg James and Joe Flint

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Conan's dilemma

Photo: Ricardo DeAratanha/LAT

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