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Conan O'Brien reclaims late-night spot with new cable show

By the CNN Wire Staff
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  • O'Brien is returning after more than 9 months off the air
  • Actor Seth Rogen is scheduled to appear Monday
  • The host says rival Jay Leno is unlikely to be a guest on his new show

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Comedian Conan O'Brien returns to the late-night television circuit Monday with a much-anticipated new show.

Actors Seth Rogen and Lea Michele will be guests on the first episode of "Conan," which airs Monday at 11 p.m. ET on TBS.

But the veteran host is keeping mum about a mystery guest -- the winner of an online poll.

A guest lineup schedule posted on the new show's website says: "You clicked and we listened! Who will be the poll winner: The Pope? The Sultan Of Brunei? Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner Gerhard Ertl? WATCH AND FIND OUT!"

There's one person who probably won't be taking the stage in O'Brien's Burbank, California, studio any time soon: Jay Leno.

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"He can come as the musical guest, because that I want to see... No, there are certain things I will not do, regardless of the price," O'Brien said in an interview in the December issue of Playboy.

Will Conan O'Brien live up to the 'Conan' hype?

O'Brien has been off the air since January, when NBC canceled Leno's primetime hour after disappointing ratings led to an affiliate revolt.

NBC paid O'Brien and his staff an estimated $40 million to clear the way for Leno to return to the "Tonight Show" host chair he handed off to O'Brien last year.

The settlement left O'Brien free to launch a competing show after September 1, 2010. TBS announced plans to bring O'Brien onboard in April.

The cable network is owned by Turner Broadcasting, the same company that owns CNN.

The ouster of O'Brien after just seven months on the show stirred his friends and fans -- dubbed Team CoCo -- to launch a variety of anti-NBC protests.

Actors Tom Hanks, Jon Hamm and Michael Cera are among the guests slated to appear during the first week of O'Brien's new show. Musical guests Jack White, Soundgarden and Fistful of Mercy are also scheduled to perform.

From 1993 to 2009, O'Brien hosted "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on NBC. He is also a former editor of the Harvard Lampoon and writer for "Saturday Night Live" and "The Simpsons."