Exclu: After a two-week stall, Fox and Conan O’Brien have resumed talks about a potential late-night talk show fronted by the former “Tonight Show” host.

But a wrinkle in the courtship has emerged that involves the biggest show on television: O’Brien has been approached to take part in Fox’s “Idol Gives Back” special April 21.


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Sources close to both camps stress that the offer is not related to the ongoing late-night discussions and in no way means the two sides expect to have a deal by April 21. In fact, the invitation to O’Brien came not from Fox but from “American Idol” producer 19 Entertainment, which is reaching out to several celebrities for the charity special.

Still, the prospect of O’Brien appearing on the top show of the network that is looking to bring him into the fold is intriguing.

The “Idol Gives Back” invitation was taken to NBC to determine whether that network would allow it under its settlement with the talk show host.

The answer was no, as the moratorium on any TV appearances by O’Brien doesn’t expire until May 1. He can, however, launch a show as early as September.

Read More: By Nellie Andreeva & James Hibberd



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