By Frank Moher
TBS? TBS? All over Canada, Conan O’Brien fans are asking: What the hell is TBS?
And how the hell are we going to watch Conan?
A quick check shows that the cable network to which O’Brien today declared allegiance — Turner Broadcasting System — is nowhere available in Canada; no, not on cable or satellite, or even by interdimensional delivery using wormholes. Of course, the assumption had been that he would go to Fox, and that, along with much of North America, we would get our Conan fix by actually watching Fox after 11 pm (a heretofore unthinkable idea). But that plan was apparently scuppered by scheduling problems.
So instead it will be FBS — er, TBT — er — what the hell is it? Of course, this may be the start of the first truly successful cross-platform program, for which TV delivery is just one of many options. Conan’s audience is already just as likely to watch him on their notebooks or iPads, given the option, as on the tube. But for Canadians, even that may not be a possibility; geo-bounding already keeps us from watching much American (and, for that matter, British) broadcasting. Tried watching “The Family Guy” on hulu.com, or “Dr. Who” on the BBC iPlayer, lately?
It’s entirely possible — likely, even — that a Canadian broadcaster will buy the program and solve our predicament. And there’s always torrenting, or ATDHE.net. But as of this moment, the announcement completes our marginalization from the pop-culture cool-kids club.
Why, Coco? Why?