We learned last week that Conan O’Brien is moving to TBS, bolstering an already vaunted network that for decades has served as a bastion for Mark Lemke ground-outs, Tom Clancy movies, and superb rain-delay programming. Now, Comedy Central has locked up the two incumbent darlings of cable television for two more years:
The network has signed the two hosts – who both attract more young viewers than even the late-night shows on the broadcast networks – to new contracts that will keep them in the 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. weeknight slots through the next presidential election in 2012.
This verifies our assumption that Conan and Stewart/Colbert will be in direct competition with one another for quite a while. Both Colbert and Stewart have managed to produce quality television despite the election of a President that they still haven’t quite figured out — the “we like you but you’re disappointing us!” trope just isn’t as strong as they’d like it to be.
Look out, though: according to a recent Rasmussen poll, Barack Obama is in a dead heat with Ron Paul, a guy they would feel far more at home lampooning come 2012. I’m pulling for you guys, so here’s a freebie word play: RonPaulstiltskin. Deploy this nugget at the right time and your viewership will blow Conan’s out of the water. You’re welcome.