UPDATE, 11:25 AM: Forget the letter-writing campaign of Los Angeles’ mayor. The mayor of New York picked up the phone and directly asked CBS boss Les Moonves to keep the Late Show in the Big Apple after David Letterman retires next year. “I had a very good conversation yesterday with the man who will actually make that decision, Les Moonves, and I emphasized that New York has been an extraordinary home for the Late Show and that we think it’ll be a great home for the Late Show going forward,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio today during a press conference. “Obviously, David Letterman made rich use of his surrounding environment of New York City, and I hope that his successor will do the same.”
The same day Letterman announced he would be leaving Late Show sometime in 2015, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote to the CBS boss urging him to move Letterman’s successor out to the West Coast. Burbank lost The Tonight Show back to NYC after 40 years when Jimmy Fallon took over hosting earlier this year, and L.A. is currently home to late-night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Conan O’Brien’s talk show on TBS, Arsenio Hall, and Letterman’s lead-out Craig Ferguson. On Friday, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito also wrote to Moonves about making sure Late Show post-Letterman stayed in New York. With de Blasio now weighing in, is it only a matter of time until this becomes a Governor-to-Governor thing? NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already made his stand doing the Top 10 list on April 4.
PREVIOUS, APRIL 4 PM: Looks like David Letterman‘s recently announced upcoming retirement is turning into an East Coast and West Coast battle royale. Yesterday LA Mayor Eric Garcetti moved fast and made the first move. The SAG-AFTRA card carrying Mayor sent a letter to CBS boss Les Moonves asking him to bring the successor show to Letterman’s Late Show to the City of Angels. The note was part of Garcetti’s pledge to do everything he can to increase TV and Film work in LA amidst runaway production. It wasn’t quite Mayor-to-Mayor but today NYC City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito reached out to Moonves to make sure CBS keeps its 11:30 PM late night show in the Big Apple. (see the letter below)
Like Garcetti, Mark-Viverito isn’t just concerned about late night legacy but jobs, jobs, jobs with a jab at LA “While popular programs are leaving other cities, they’re flocking to New York in record numbers, says the NYC City Council leader. “We also greatly appreciate and understand the industry’s ability to create good jobs and support small businesses.” While CBS has yet to weigh in on these letters, you can bet that if a move is being considered the volume is only going to get turned up more on what is a multi-million dollar asset to wherever the late night show is. In the meantime, read Speaker Mark-Viverito’s letter to Moonves here:
Dear Mr. Moonves:
The recent announcement that David Letterman will be retiring as the host of The Late Showwas sad and surprising news to myself and to millions of other New Yorkers. For 32 years, The Late Show has been a proud part of New York City’s amazing entertainment culture.
That is why I’m writing to urge you to keep future production and filming of The Late Show right here in New York City, where the program began and where David Letterman found such great success. New York City has always been the home of The Late Show, and nothing could be better for the future of the program than to continue in that tradition when the torch is passed to a new host.
On top of that, New York continues to be a great place to film. While popular programs are leaving other cities, they’re flocking to New York in record numbers. In fact, between the 2011 and 2014, the number of TV series produced in New York City shot up from 18 to 27. We also greatly appreciate and understand the industry’s ability to create good jobs and support small businesses.
Beyond that, The Late Show has always been an iconic presence of New York City’s rich entertainment industry. The history between this city and The Late Show is a defining characteristic which viewers all over America recognize and appreciate. What better place forThe Late Show than The City That Never Sleeps?
I look forward to many more years of the relationship between our city and The Late Show.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.