Conan would need to be free to produce the show that HE wants to produce. A big reason that the Tonight Show under Conan was a lame duck was that he and his writers (the EXACT SAME staff as the successful Late Night show) were handcuffed to some ridiculous standard of 11:35p needing to be tamer.
That makes no sense; after watching an hour of Law & Order where pimps are killing prostitutes and getting shot and whatnot, then watching the uber-depressing local news, why would the Tonight Show need to have tame jokes?
Because the sensibility and type of humor that worked at 12:30 doesn't necessarily translate to the much larger and broader audience at 11:30. There is a lot more money at stake and a lot more jobs, and things have to be played safer. Letterman did the same thing, The Late Show
is just a shadow of the greatness that was Late Night
. But he knew that when he took the job.
Did you miss the part about the 10pm Law and Order and the 11pm Local News?
Who says 11:35p has such a broad audience that they have to be tame with their jokes? It doesn't stop TDS and TCR on Comedy Central from going blue at 10pm. For that matter, it doesn't stop reruns of Roseanne on Fox at 10pm, or reruns of classic Simpsons episodes like Marge vs the Monorail.