Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010

Conan O'Brien

Lows: The story of Conan's year begins with the low. Less than a year into his long-awaited Tonight Show tenure, Conan rejected NBC's plan to move him back an hour to make room for a half-hour show for Jay Leno, whose own 10 pm experiment had proved a ratings failure. Conan was portrayed as a ratings failure himself, and as part of his severance agreement, forbidden to appear on television for the next several months.

Highs: Conan may have been off the air, but he walked away with more than $30 million in severance and an army of newly devoted followers, who ate up his final week of insult-laden shows. Following his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television standup tour, Conan returned to television as host of the namesake TBS late-night spot, Conan. His fans, who dubbed themselves Team Coco, united to help the once jilted performer garner an audience of 4.2 million viewers on the night his new show premiered, which yes, beat Jay Leno's ratings that evening.

Kayla Webley