UPDATE MAY 1: CBS has just released a video excerpt of Conan from Sunday's "60 Minutes."
In the video, a stone-faced Conan discusses Jay Leno and NBC with CBS' Steve Kroft and appears to choose his words very deliberately:
Ih other text excerpts released by CBS, Conan disputes Jeff Zucker's claim that "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" had lost money.
"I honestly don't see how that's possible. It's really not possible. It isn't possible," he said.
He added that he has no regrets over the way he handled his exit from the network.
"I don't regret anything," he said. "I don't regret one decision I made in that week and a half period. I wish it had ended differently. But, I'm fine. I do believe, and this might be my Catholic upbringing or Irish magical thinking, but I think things happen for a reason. I really do. And I think that this all happened for a reason."
But, he cautions, he doesn't believe he was "screwed," as many people (including Leno) are saying.
"The biggest thing people come up and say to me in gas stations and restaurants, I have so many people say this to me. 'Hey partner, you got screwed.'" he said. "I don't-- and I always tell them, 'No, I didn't. I didn't get screwed. I'm-- I'm fine. It just-- it didn't work out.' But I don't want people thinking, you know, that I got screwed. Because it just didn't work out."
That said, he acknowledged that he has not resolved his issues over the situation.
"I have not resolved all my issues," he told Kroft. "I am mostly very happy. I love this tour, it's the most thrilling thing I've done in my career. And so I'm in a really great place in a lot of ways. But I'd be lying if I said I don't-- have my moments of everything, you know, anger, disappointment-- frustration and just confusion."
Original Post: Conan O'Brien will appear on "60 Minutes" Sunday to break his silence on his departure from NBC. CBS released an excerpt* of Conan's interview with correspondent Steve Kroft.
In the interview, Conan says that if he and Jay Leno had traded places, he would not have done what Leno did.
"He went and took that show back and I think in a similar situation, if roles had been reversed, I know-- I know me, I wouldn't have done that," he told Kroft. "If I had surrendered 'The Tonight Show' and handed it over to somebody publicly and wished them well-- and then...six months later. But that's me, you know. Everyone's got their own, you know, way of doing things."
What would he have done if he were Leno?
"Done something else, go someplace else. I mean, that's just me," he said.
He added that he left NBC rather than accepting another time slot or role with the network because of the way they handled the situation.
"I think this relationship is going be toxic and maybe we just need to go our separate ways," he told Kroft. "That's really how it felt to me...and I started to feel that I'm not sure these people even really want me here....I can't do it [anymore]."
The interview airs Sunday, May 2, at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
*Due to Conan's exit agreement with NBC, he is unable to appear on TV until May 1, so CBS has just released text excerpts.
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