Conan O'Brien reaches $45 million NBC settlement

Jan 21, 2010 at 1:18 p.m. ET

Conan O'Brien has reached a settlement with NBC to the tune of $45 million.

Conan and NBC finally reached a deal that will allow Jay Leno to step back behind the Tonight Show desk, free Conan to go to another network and make himself and his crew lots o' cash -- $45 million, to be exact.

O'Brien gets a severance of $32.5 million, which will not be reduced if he gets another gig. NBC will shell out another $7.5 million to Conan's Tonight Show staff who will be replaced by Jay's own, and another $4.5 million to the executive producer.

Still unclear: who gets intellectual property rights to such bits as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and the Masturbating Bear, how quickly Conan can take his next gig and if there's a "No badmouthing NBC" clause.

Expect to see O'Brien behind the desk until January 22, hopefully staging more expensive stunts like the Bugatti Veyron Mouse-Rolling Stones skit -- a bit so pricey that NBC already cut it out of their web clips and replays to avoid paying royalties!

Rumor has it Tom Hanks will be making a Tonight Show appearance before O'Brien signs off. Stay tuned!

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