Conan O’Brien’s TV Return Gets a Max Premiere Date

It’s been nearly three years since Conan O’Brien ended his late-night talk show on TBS, promising a future TV project on the streaming service Max. Now that new project finally has a premiere date: April 18th.

O’Brien made the announcement himself Saturday while previewing the series before an audience at South By Southwest. 

Reminiscent of Conan Without Borders, the series of travel specials he produced for TBS, each episode of the new show, titled Conan O’Brien Must Go, will see the former late-night host travel to a different foreign country visiting fans he’s met through his podcast, “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.” The show’s first four episodes will take him to Norway, Thailand, Argentina, and Ireland. 

As first reported by Variety’s Michael Schneider, O’Brien told the crowd at SXSW, “there are funny people all over the globe and they all have their own rhythm.” For example, O’Brien continued, “everyone in Ireland is a comedian… I love talking to people who don’t know who I am, don’t care. I’m a connection junkie, I like to connect with people. I think this show is my way to get my fix.”

One difference between Conan Without Borders and Conan O’Brien Must Go is the length of time O’Brien and his team are able to spend on each episode. Whereas his past specials were produced mostly on the fly during dark weeks of his late-night show, the new series sees him able to spend more time in each location, with more preparation and a larger budget. 

O’Brien ended his 28-year career in late-night in June 2021. He’s since been mostly focused on podcasting. In 2022, Sirius XM bought his podcast network for $150 million and signed O’Brien himself to a five-year contract. His flagship podcast Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend is said to command upwards of 9 million downloads a month.

All four Season 1 episodes of Conan O’Brien Must Go will be available to stream on Max April 18th.


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  1. jsm1963 says:

    I think it’s, Conan O’Brien Needs a FRIEND”

    1. Jed Rosenzweig says:

      Thanks for this. You’re right, although he does special fan-centric episodes using the fan title. But really, it’s “Needs a Friend.” We’ve updated the post.