UPDATE: Conan O’Brien leaving ‘Tonight Show’ next week

Conan O’Brien is officially bailing on NBC and ending his stint on The Tonight Show Friday, January 22, according to the New York Post:

“Conan does not currently plan on doing any more new shows after next week,” a source told People magazine’s Web site this afternoon.
If Jan. 22 is O’Brien’s final live broadcast, the show will have ended two weeks before NBC’s scheduled preemption for its 2010 Winter Olympics coverage.
NBC has declined comment.

NBC probably didn’t comment because they’re too busy signing The Tonight Show back over to Jay Leno who, surprise, wasn’t really going to leave the network after all. TMZ reports:

Jay Leno has made a new deal with NBC, which gives him “The Tonight Show” from 11:35 – 12:35 … sources tell TMZ
As we first reported, under the contract Jay had been working under, he was guaranteed the 10 PM hour. By moving him to 11:35, NBC was in breach of his contract and needed to negotiate a new deal. That is now done, sources tell TMZ.

I’m not even going to try to offer a better commentary than Conan’s monologue last night:

“Hosting The Tonight Show has been the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me – and I just want to say to the kids out there watching: You can do anything you want in life.

Unless Jay Leno wants to do it, too.”


UPDATE: NBC is denying the Leno deal. Of course they are.

UPDATE: Now Conan’s rep is denying Jan. 22 date, so… who the fuck knows?