It's official: Conan O'Brien is out and Jay Leno is reclaiming The Tonight Show, just seven months after giving it up.
After days of negotiations, NBC and Conan reached a $45 million settlement, with the comic getting approximately $33 million, and the rest going to his staff as severance.
The network made the long-anticipated official announcement early Thursday, a few days after Conan fans rallied in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Seattle to show their support for TEAM COCO. Conan himself made an appearance at the Los Angeles rally outside his studio, and his staff handed out pizza to rain-soaked supporters.
Conan's last show will air Friday, with guests Will Ferrell and Tom Hanks. According to his contract, he'll be free to pursue other on-air opportunities -- Fox, are you listening? -- on Sept. 1.
The comic continued disparaging NBC this week despite reports of a network gag order.
"Nobody said anything about speaking in Spanish," he said Tuesday, then added (in Spanish): "NBC is run by brainless sons of goats who eat money and crap trouble."