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January 26th, 2010
12:33 PM ET

Expect more late-night talk show drama

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/SHOWBIZ/TV/01/12/conan.obrien/story.conan.obrien.gi.jpg caption="Conan O'Brien says he "cannot participate in what I honestly believe is the destruction of "The Tonight Show."" width=292 height=169]

Ed Bark
Special to CNN

Magnanimous in defeat, which could turn into victory, Conan O'Brien bequeathed "The Tonight Show" back to Jay Leno Friday after first thanking NBC for at least putting him on the map.

"This company has been my home for most of my adult life," he told viewers. "I am enormously proud of the work we've done together. I want to thank NBC for making it all possible. I really do."

Such sentiments are predictable when push finally comes to shove. O'Brien's "Tonight" ratings had swelled of late, in no small part because of his unbridled bashing of NBC after he adamantly refused to take another back seat to Leno in the Peacock's pecking order.

On Tuesday's "Tonight," O'Brien cut loose in Spanish, with the English subtitles reading, "NBC is run by brainless sons of goats who eat money and crap trouble."

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