Conan O’Brien has become the biggest show in the Stitcher portfolio with more than 55 million downloads to date. That number will get a boost starting Oct. 7 when the second season of Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend debuts. The new season will benefit from a number of high-profile guests that have been lined up, including Ellen DeGeneres, David Letterman, Paul Rudd, and Tina Fey. “Each guest this season is so talented and iconic that they trigger my deepest insecurities,” said O’Brien.
The second season begins two months after O’Brien signed a reported “mid-seven figure” co-production and distribution deal with Stitcher’s Earwolf comedy network. It will keep Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend going for at least another two years with a minimum of 72 episodes included in the pact. O’Brien’s Team Coco Podcasts also works with Earwolf on two other shows: The Three Questions with Andy Richter and Inside Conan: An Important Hollywood Podcast. Team Coco separately produces a pair of scripted podcasts in co-production with Luminary: Frontier Tween and SMARTR.
“Podcasting has been a big business success — a brand success – and you always feel hokey even saying that,” O’Brien told Variety. One reason O’Brien has been so interested in podcasting is that he views the role of late-night talk shows waning. It’s why his new four-year deal with TBS includes more of a digital component, dovetailing with his podcast effort. “It used to be late-night shows were the last thing people saw and Johnny Carson was putting the nation to bed at night and that was this titanic responsibility,” he told Variety. “That’s not what these shows are anymore and you can’t waste time being nostalgic about it.”