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‘Conan’ finds its director

Conan-tbs-talk-show-owl Exclu: “Conan” has found its helmer: Allan Kartun will be joining Conan O’Brien as he launches his latenight talkshow next month at TBS.

Kartun reps the latest member of Team Conan to make the leap to the Warner Bros. lot, where “Conan” will be shot. Kartun previously directed “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien,” which earned him an Emmy nomination earlier this year for directing in a variety series.

“It’s going to be a new adventure,” Kartun said. “There are going to be new challenges in the photography of this new show. You’re going to see that the set is quite different. There’s going to be a greater degree of intimacy between Conan and the audience. And there’s more a sense of theatricality in this new set.”

The inspiration for the theatrical theme (designed by John Shaffner and partner Joe Stewart) came from O’Brien’s nationwide “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television” tour, which gave O’Brien the theater bug. From a direction standpoint, Kartun said he’ll be conscious of finding camera angles that convey that intimacy.

“It won’t be always about looking for the grandest, biggest shot possible,” he said. “That works in big event TV, and that worked on ‘The Tonight Show.’ But in this environment we want to communicate a greater sense of the relationship between Conan and the audience.”

“We’re where we expected to be less than a month out,” Kartun said. “I think we’re in good shape.”

The “Conan” team will start shooting some test shows during the week of Oct. 25 to get up to speed and ready for the official TBS premiere. Meanwhile, because “Conan” will air weeknights at 11, a half-hour earlier than “Tonight,” the show will likely shoot closer to 4:30 p.m.

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