NBC announced Thursday they had reached a final deal with Conan O’Brien for $45 million. O’Brien will receive $33 million for his exit as host of The Tonight Show. The rest of the settlement will go to his staff for severance pay and contract buy-outs.

Conan O'Brien (Photo: U.S. Embassy at Helsinki)

Conan O'Brien (Photo: U.S. Embassy at Helsinki)

The deal will allow Jay Leno to resume his former post of 17 years as host of The Tonight Show on March 1st. As part of the deal, Conan O’Brien has been asked not to return to television for eight months. “NBC and Conan O’Brien have reached a resolution of the issues surrounding O’Brien’s contract to host The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien,” the network said in a press statement Thursday.

“Under terms of an agreement that was signed earlier today, NBC and O’Brien will settle their contractual obligations and the network will release O’Brien from his contract, freeing him to pursue other opportunities after September 1, 2010.”

“We’re pleased that Jay is returning to host the franchise that he helmed brilliantly and successfully for many years,” said Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment. “He is an enormous talent, a consummate professional and one of the hardest-working performers on television.”

Conan O’Brien will make his last appearance as host of The Tonight Show on Friday.

Frankly, we could do without seeing either one of them on the air for a while. All this media frenzy about the Jay Leno versus Conan O’Brien feud has just left us bored with both of them – and once again astounding by the stupidity of television network executives in general.

>> Previously:  Conan O’Brien Furious Over Jay Leno Late Night Shake Up



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