When it comes to conspiracies, I'm never too keen on them. They're fun, but the sizzle always trumps the substance.
However, in the realm of television? Bring out the tinfoil hat and any other mind-protecting devices you have stowed away in your bomb shelter.
We've all seen Conan O'Brien's ultimatum to NBC on the New York Times' Media Decoder blog, wherein our redheaded protagonist played the role of Martin Luther nailing the theses on the executives' door. "I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction," he said, signifying that he wouldn't do The Tonight Show anymore if the show moved to 12:05 to accommodate a half-hour Jay Leno show at 11:35.
And you know something? I believe him. Because it's absolutely not going to happen.
What Conan did amounts to insubordination. Imagine any other TV star going to the media to resist a change that involves their show. They'd be strung up by the wrists and dragged through public opinion's town square. Think about Zach Braff drawing a line in the sand when news came out that Scrubs may not be coming back. What a diva! But in this case ... all aboard #TeamConan!
It's all too convenient that the press release was published late afternoon, usually a few hours before they start production on that day's episode. Sure enough, Tuesday night's Tonight Show monologue was substantially packed with jokes about Conan being ousted at NBC. Say what you will about them, but the network has usually been rather easygoing airing satire about themselves (see: Seinfeld episodes about Seinfeld doing a pilot for NBC, and just about the entire breadth of 30 Rock's humor). That's why if this triangular tiff between Conan, Leno, and NBC were anything but a fanciful smokescreen, the jokes and bits that aired last night would have been censor-stuffed. Hell, they even pulled Howie Mandel into this scandal. You know that's some serious shit.