What to Watch For as Conan Returns

Questions loom as O'Brien debuts on TBS
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2010 5:32 PM CST
In this undated publicity image released by TBS, TV host Conan O'Brien, is shown. O'Brien will debut his new late night show, "Conan," on Monday, Nov. 8, 2010 at 11:00 p.m. EST on TBS.   (AP Photo/TBS, Art Streiber)

(Newser) – As Conan O'Brien returns to TV tonight on TBS, 10 months after the fiasco at NBC that ended his tenure as the Tonight Show host, questions abound:

  • Perhaps the biggest of those questions is whether or not Conan can take his phenomenal success on Twitter and translate it back into TV ratings, the Los Angeles Times notes.
  • Conan isn't directly competing with rival Jay Leno, but his 11pm cable slot pits him against two much more challenging opponents: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, both riding high from their hugely popular Washington rallies, reports the New York Times.

  • Others raise more pressing concerns: Will the beard stay? "That orange facial fuzz has come to typify everything we love about the new Conan," writes Eric Ditzian on MTV. Ditzian also weighs in on the rumored first guest, Andy Richter's role, and another big question—will he make any Leno jokes? (Probably not, but Ditzian is hoping for "one last zinger.")
  • Perhaps most importantly, wonders James Poniewozik at Time, "Will the Masturbating Bear be back?" Jokes aside, NBC technically owns all of Conan's signature bits. Will he defy NBC or come up with all-new material?
To get your fill of Conan while waiting for the premiere, click here.

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