Report: ‘Idol’ Wants Conan O’Brien, But NBC Won’t Allow It

by | March 22, 2010 at 6:22 AM | American Idol, TV News

Conan O'Brien (NBC)

Conan O'Brien (NBC)

Fox’s ‘American Idol‘ wants Conan O’Brien to participate in its annual ‘Idol Gives Back’ special, but the carrot-topped comedian’s former boss isn’t feeling in a charitable mood.

O’Brien was approached to take part in the ‘Idol Gives Back’ fundraiser, airing April 21, says the Hollywood Reporter – and not as part of any deal Fox may be working on to land the former ‘Tonight Show’ host.

O’Brien’s exit deal with NBC, however, precludes him from making any TV appearances until May 1 – and the Peacock reportedly enforced that clause by putting the kibosh on the ‘Idol’ invite.

Meanwhile, O’Brien continues to field offers to start up a new late-night – or even pre-primetime – talk show elsewhere, either on Fox, a cable network or in syndication.

The Reporter notes, quite interestingly, that in the event that O’Brien strikes a deal with Fox, the itinerary for his upcoming ‘Legally Prohibited From being Funny on TV’ tour has a vacant date on May 17 – aka the day of Fox’s upfront presentation of its fall plans to advertisers.

Or if talks with Fox simply make significant progress, O’Brien’s tour hits the top nine TV markets, where he ostensibly could meet with and schmooze any skeptical Fox affiliates.

What do you think, Fancast fans? Was NBC right to enforce its deal with Conan? Or should the Peacock have allowed an exception for this charitable occasion?

Watch this clip about Conan’s comedy tour: