This just wasn't Conan O'Brien's year. NBC didn't let him keep his dream job as host of "The Tonight Show," and the red-haired comedian came up short with Emmy voters Sunday night.
FOR THE RECORD:
Conan O'Brien: An article in Monday's Calendar section about Conan O'Brien's losing at the Emmy Awards on Sunday night said that Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" won its seventh straight Emmy as best variety, music or comedy series. It was its eighth consecutive win. —
Instead, "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" kept its winning streak alive, bagging its seventh straight Emmy for variety, music or comedy series.
It had been one of the most anticipated categories of the evening, threatening to pose an awkward moment or two for NBC, which was broadcasting the Emmys, and host Jimmy Fallon. Last year, Fallon stepped into O'Brien's longtime "Late Night" time slot so that O'Brien could move to the coveted "Tonight Show." Television pundits had wondered whether academy voters would be able to resist the temptation to poke their fingers in the peacock's eye after its treatment of O'Brien by awarding him the statue.
O'Brien famously lost his late-night gig in January when his NBC bosses decided they could no longer tolerate the low ratings that Jay Leno was producing for his 10 p.m. weeknight talk show. O'Brien's late-night show wasn't generating the hoped-for ratings either. But O'Brien refused to go along with NBC's plans to start his "Tonight Show" after midnight to make room for Leno's return to late night, and for nearly two weeks the messy divorce played out on the public airwaves.
It seemed O'Brien might have the last laugh Sunday but only could mug for the camera when Fallon joked about the affair in his opening number. O'Brien will have another chance at an Emmy next year as he reboots his career in November with a late-night show on TBS.
Adam Tschorn contributed to this report.