REPORTS: ‘Conan’ Cuts Music Performances; Booker Roey Hershkovitz to Exit
With “Conan” set to switch to a half-hour format beginning in January 2019, the TBS show is doing away with regular musical performances to focus more on comedy and what host Conan O’Brien calls a “leaner” late-night program.
With that change, producer and music booker Roey Hershkovitz will depart the show, leaving the door open for consulting work on the occasional special music episode and potential music content to appear on TeamCoco.com’s digital platforms.
Hershkovitz has been with the “Conan” franchise for nearly 20 years. Beginning as an intern in 1999, he was hired as music coordinator at NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” in May 2000 and moved with the show to TBS in 2010. Hershkovitz, who has also co-produced episodes of NBC’s “The Office,” was elevated to Music Booker in 2017 after “Conan” veteran Jim Pitt left for ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Recent music bookings on “Conan” include Neko Case, ODESZA, Tuxedo & Zapp, Dawes and Natalie Prass.
O’Brien said in May that the new show will likely feature just one celebrity guest and will remain based in Los Angeles. “This is going to be me doing comedy as you’ve seen me doing, and an interview, probably, with a celebrity every night instead of two or three,” he said. “Everything else beyond that we’re going to find it by doing it.”
“Conan” and its predecessor has been home to some memorable performances over the years, including the White Stripes’ last bow as a band in 2009 (Jack White returned to usher in the TBS show and play alongside O’Brien) and Luis Fonsi’s first late-night performance of the smash hit “Despacito.”
By Shirley Halperin
[Editor’s note: As usual, when the budget needs to be cut, the musicians go…]