Conan O’Brien is working to keep fresh late-night TV on the air as every other major late-night program has ceased production due to concerns about bringing live audiences and production crews together at a single time during the COVID-19 pandemic. But O’Brien, the longest-tenured late-night host among the current crop, intends to resume his TBS program, with writers and producers working remotely – and Conan will use his Apple iPhone to accomplish the feat.
O’Brien “likes to work. He likes to make stuff – as we all do. We are in the business of making content and this what we do. The idea that we can’t do it is a little frustrating,” says Jeff Ross, the late-night host’s longtime executive producer, in an interview. “We have a staff that wants to work, that doesn’t want to not get paid, and you just want to keep the business going.”
Starting on Monday, March 30, new episodes of O’Brien’s “Conan” will start to air on TBS. The shows will be shot remotely on an iPhone, without an audience and with guest interviews being filmed via video chat. Approximately 75 people help put the TV show together, says Ross, and the staff’s safety remains a paramount concern.
“The quality of my work will not go down because technically that’s not possible,” says O’Brien in a statement… “We were making stuff and putting it out and trying to be a distraction, but we just realized – why not just do the show?” asked Ross. “It will be different, and it may not be pretty, but we’re going to do it.”
I am going back on the air Monday, March 30th. All my staff will work from home, I will shoot at home using an iPhone, and my guests will Skype. This will not be pretty, but feel free to laugh at our attempt. Stay safe.
— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) March 19, 2020
MacDailyNews Take: Oh, don’t worry, if Conan is shot on iPhone, it’ll be pretty – especially if it’s edited with Final Cut Pro X!