Actually, Conan made more than $33M on the deal and his staff got around $12M. So not a bad deal at all for them.
I still think it was a bad idea to change any of it. Barring that Leno should have just retired for good and not had a 10pm show. Though I do understand Leno wanting to have a show. Afterall he was number 1 in his timeslot. So it wasn't like he or his sow was performing badly.
Programming for the 10PM timeslot is all but locked up now. They have Law and Order filling in some of those spots, plus there are a couple of new shows already in production with episodes ready to go after the Olympics.
I'll be interested to see how well Leno does though. I suspect he'll get back a good portion of his viewers, but getting number 1 back may be a little tougher.
Ultimately he probably will get number 1 back, but should Conan get an 11:30 show on a different network, I think he'll give Leno and Letterman a run for their money. I know I"ll be sticking with Coco.
ABC doesn't want to get rid of Nightline, nor Jimmy Kimmel. So I don't see that as an option for Conan. Fox may seem like the best prospect but with Fox cancelling shows long before they should be, the future is not so bright there for Conan.
I personally would love to see Conan get the slot after Lettermen on CBS. Yes, I know there are a lot of Craig Ferguson fans out there, but I don't think they outnumber Conan fans. Besides the ironic continuity of "Late Night" hosts going to CBS would be intact and Letterman and Conan could share barbs against both Leno and NBC.
In any event, I enjoyed the last show of Conan. Freebird was a great choice of song. I'd have loved to have seen him do Bohemian Rhapsody too.
I look forward to Conan returning, hopefully sooner than later. It would be a loss for us all if he didn't return to late night TV, IMO.