'Big Bang Theory' gives talkshow a ratings boost

Despite a bumpy ride on the ratings front since its arrival on TBS, “Conan” has been extended through April 2014.

Latenight talker hosted by Conan O’Brien, which bowed on the cabler in November 2010, has been boosted in recent months by the stronger lead-in provided by TBS’ primetime reruns of “The Big Bang Theory.”

Talkshow has now seen three months of growth, up 27% in total viewers vs. its October performance and up 18% in adults 18-34. Show is averaging 1.1 total viewers and 407,000 in the 18-34 demo.

“We are proud to be in business with Conan O’Brien for the long run,” said Michael Wright, exec veep of programming for TNT, TBS and TCM. “Night after night, Conan and his team have put together terrific shows that draw a young and fiercely loyal audience.”

On the help that “The Big Bang Theory” is providing “Conan,” Wright said the sitcom is “more compatible and provides a more consistent lead-in audience.”

O’Brien was unceremoniously ousted by NBC from his “Tonight Show” gig in January 2010. Turner Broadcasting signaled its intent to boost TBS into the network big leagues by investing in the established latenight star.

On his new deal, O’Brien joked: “This means I’ll be taping episodes of ‘Conan’ well into the Ron Paul presidency.”

Despite only a two-year addition for the talkshow, Wright said he expected “Conan” to be around for awhile.

“‘Conan’ is definitely a long-term play for TBS,” he said. “This is reflected not only in the extension of the show, but also in the investments we’re making in original primetime programming that will lead into ‘Conan’ and digital enhancements that will make the ‘Conan’ experience even more dynamic for viewers.”

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