New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves officially announced that the Late Show With Stephen Colbert will remain in New York and continue broadcasting from the historic Ed Sullivan Theater. The agreement includes a commitment by CBS for approximately 200 New York-based jobs to support the daily program’s year-round production schedule. Here’s how CBS spun it this morning:
Joan Rivers continues her book tour. Three days after walking out on CNN after objecting to Fredricka Whitfield’s line of questioning, Joan stopped by David Letterman‘s CBS late-night show tonight. When she began to poke fun at June Allyson — America’s Sweetheart circa 1940 — Dave walked out and his guest was left to go it alone:
UPDATE, 4:50 PM: Sports media beat David Letterman to the news that NBA champ Tim Duncan had decided to return for another season with the San Antonio Spurs. Even so, Dave welcomed Duncan to his show, and asked him if he had thought about retiring, adding, “You and I are about the same age.”
“I did — thought about calling it a year, calling it a career,” Duncan responded, “But I felt I could at least do one more year. I felt I was still effective — could still play and help the team.” Watch below:
PREVIOUS: THURSDAY, PM: Late Show With David Letterman tweeted today that it has booked Tim Duncan as Dave’s Tuesday guest. The veteran San Antonio Spurs center just won his fifth NBA championship, and insiders say Tuesday’s also the day Duncan will announce whether he is retiring. There is talk that he might, but conventional wisdom is that the 38-year-old will come back for at least one more season.
The New York HQ of the Paley Center For Media will present a June 9 discussion with Jerry Seinfeld about his web series, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. His interlocutor will be exiting Late Night host and sometime CICGC guest David Letterman. The program will include a fourth-season episode of the Crackle.com show. No coffee in the auditorium, the Paley Center warns. But the event will be live-streamed over the Center’s app.
Neil Patrick Harris Discussed, Dismissed CBS Late Night Show, But Still Talking About Variety Show With Network
CBS CEO Leslie Moonves asked Neil Patrick Harris if he’d be interested in doing a late-night show for CBS, Harris said today on Howard Stern’s radio show. The conversation happened before David Letterman announced he is retiring next year but as CBS already was looking at a possible future without Letterman, should Dave decide not to renew his two-year contract. The conversation also happened as Harris’ How I Met Your Mother gig was winding down. Harris has become a member in good standing of the Les Moonves Repertoire Theatre, not only starring in HIMYM but also becoming a CBS go-to guy for trophy-show hosting. Harris stressed to Stern that he was “not in conversation like about-to-make-a-deal — but they called me in and sat me down and asked if it was something I’d be interested in, because I have a good relationship with them from How I Met Your Mother.”
Related: CBS’ Late-Night Drama Not Over Yet Despite Colbert Hire
Harris’ reaction when the subject was broached in a meeting with Moonves and CBS programming chief Nina Tassler? “I felt like I knew what my skill set was and what I wanted to do after the show, with them. It surprised me [Moonves] pitched me that idea. I sat for a time with it while I was talking to him, and I told him what concerned me about the longevity of that kind of gig. I think I would get bored of the repetition fast. The structure is so set — I don’t have any interest in doing Monologue, Commercial, Sketch, Guest, Guest, Musical Act, Good Night.”
It was legal matters and late-night that Les Moonves wanted to talk about today at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference. “I feel good about our chances in the Supreme Court,” said the CBS chief about last week’s hearing on the legality of the Aereo streaming service. Not that Moonves wasn’t prepared for a loss in the nine Justices’ upcoming ruling. “I’ll stand by my statement that we have another alternative if we lose,” Moonves added. Last year at the same conference, Moonves said he could move CBS to cable in “a few days” if the situation with the streaming service could not be resolved in the courts – and that was before the broadcasters petitioned SCOTUS late last year. “Aereo takes our content,” the network exec told the conference crowd, “and doesn’t pay for it – that’s theft.” Moonves added today, “I think our case is very strong.” A decision from the Supreme Court is expected in late June. On a more personal note, Moonves said that though he and Aereo backer Barry Diller are close friends he decided to never speak about the streaming service with the IAC boss after one conversation for the betterment of their relationship. That practical advice drew a big laugh from the suit-and-tie crowd in the ballroom this morning.
UPDATE: Bill Maher Says CBS Treated Craig Ferguson “Shabbily” As David Letterman Delivers Detached Send-Off: Video
I think CBS and the media treated Craig Ferguson pretty shabbily
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) April 29, 2014
Some wonder if David Letterman‘s name should be added to the Those Treating Craig Shabbily List, after watching Dave’s comments last night on his Late Show. Sure, Dave praised Ferguson’s program, saying, “I’m telling you, to be unique in the world of television – virtually impossible.” But viewers who expected Dave to in some way acknowledge that Ferguson made this show for Letterman’s own Worldwide Pants for many years came away baffled. Dave appeared to be detached, mostly reading from a prepared statement written on a cue card, delivered as if he were unfamiliar with the particulars:
CBS is down one more late-night host – Craig Ferguson just announced to his studio audience that he would not be re-upping his contract to host Late Late Show and will step down in December. “CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling,’ but we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much,” Ferguson said in the announcement, which immediately triggered speculation as to who would replace him.
Ferguson is sticking around until year’s end to give show staff time to figure things out, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. But, with Ferguson leaving in December, it’s likely CBS will have a new 12:35 AM host on its air before Stephen Colbert replaces David Letterman — Colbert is likewise leaving his Comedy Central series The Colbert Report at the end of the calendar year, but David Letterman has yet to set his end date on Late Show — only saying it will be some time in 2015.
Ferguson has been Late Late Show’s host since succeeding Craig Kilborn in January 2005; his contract was set to expire this summer, so it had been widely expected some decision on his CBS late-night future would be reached soon-ish. And all America recently was brought up to speed on the clause in that contract that landed him a pot of cash if the network looked elsewhere for its David Letterman replacement. That happened when CBS went with Stephen Colbert after Dave also surprised his studio audience with news he was stepping down in 2015. But Ferguson was quick to tweet his congratulations to Colbert the morning the news broke. That night, Ferguson opened his show with another shout-out to Colbert, after which he teased viewers with cracks about resigning — but only for the length of a commercial.
Stephen Colbert: The Road To The CBS Late Show Host-ship 2015 kicked off this week, with Actual Stephen Colbert visiting the show to kiss David Letterman’s ring and introduce himself to late-night America as a pleasant, humble kind of guy. At the exact same time, over on Comedy Central, Stephen Colbert-Nation, the puffed-up talk-show host headlining The Colbert Report, rhetorically threw down with conservative columnist George Will.
It was a neat equation of what Colbert will add to CBS and subtract from the political landscape. CBS will become home to the guy who will do the very best interview ever with Lindsay Lohan when she attempts her next career comeback (maybe when NBC revisits its Hillary Clinton biopic after the presidential election cycle?). But we’ve got an abundant supply of late-night Lohan interviewers. Meanwhile, our gross national product of viral, make-you-think TV political humorists appears to be about to plunge 50%, from Colbert plus Jon Stewart to Stewart alone (though Comedy Central alum John Oliver’s upcoming HBO weekly show may tip the scales a bit).
The day after making his first appearance on CBS’ Late Show since the network announced he’s taking it over when David Letterman retires, Stephen Colbert paid a surprise visit to The Daily Show last night to break it to Jon Stewart that he’s leaving Comedy Central. “There is no mountain left to climb,” Colbert said. “It’s become clear to me that I’ve won television. At this point I’m just running up the score…Almost nine years ago I promised to change the world and together — I did it.” Watch here:
UPDATED with video of Colbert’s appearance: Viewers curious to know what Actual Stephen Colbert is like, and what might his upcoming CBS late-night show be, got a good look Tuesday when the Comedy Central star made his first visit to David Letterman‘s Late Show since being named as his replacement. After telling Dave he’d been offered a gig with Dave’s old NBC show but turned it down because it was an unpaid internship – “It’s an expensive city,” Colbert explained. “The next job I’m taking here, that pays? Cause I’ve already signed” — Dave asked Colbert if he vacations well:
Sometime next year Stephen Colbert will be on the other end of a Late Show interview, but for now he’s just a guest. Before he takes over the show, the soon-to-be-former-Colbert Report host chatted with retiree-in-waiting David Letterman tonight at CBS’ Ed Sullivan Theatre. (Watch a clip here.) While we wait to hear what each has to say about all this, here are a few snapshots — including the obligatory selfie — from the visit. Check Deadline later tonight to read Lisa de Moraes’ recap of the meeting of the Late Show hosts.
Chelsea Handler is no longer a part of the CBS late-night conversation, the comic having finished her deft manipulation of the media by announcing, “I would never go to CBS.” ”My mouth? What would they do with me there?” she told Ellen DeGeneres on Ellen’s talk show Wednesday, stating the obvious. “I would never be on a regular network. I would never do that to my fans, myself, or the network,” she added. Handler insisted the Instagram photo that she posted this week of her large-ish dog sitting on her lap, in which she’s seen holding papers upside down so that CBS logo could clearly be seen by viewers, was a giant misunderstanding, explaining she doesn’t look at photos before posting them. She’s talking to CBS about something entirely different, she said.
DeGeneres noted the one solid fact in the Handler late-night saga is that she has said she is ending her Chelsea Lately on E!. “Is that your choice?” Ellen asked. ”Well…..yeah,” Handler said, adding that she thinks it’s time to move on because she wants a vacation and some sleep.
Ellen asked Handler about the Comedy Central opening that will be created when Stephen Colbert leaves to replace David Letterman on CBS. “What is Comedy Central?” Handler snarked, adding, “I don’t want to take a job that somebody else has already done.”
UPDATED THROUGHOUT: CBS just announced that Stephen Colbert will pay a visit to the guy he’s replacing on Late Show With David Letterman a week from today, Tuesday, April 22. No word in re whether the two men will address the “covert assault on traditional American values” that CBS’ succession plans for its late-night franchise represents. That’s how Rush Limbaugh described it when CBS announced last week. Today, however, Limbaugh homed in on the “symbolic symbolism cover” that is Colbert’s Catholicism. “All these leftists, they fall back on their devout Catholicism, but it doesn’t mean anything,” he said, referencing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Dick Durbin – and Comedy Central comic Colbert. Limbaugh said he wanted to address the situation “before this gets out of hand — and maybe it already is.”
“If Colbert’s a devout Catholic and has five kids, I suppose that he must believe in traditional marriage, right?” Limbaugh said. “And if he does, then he’s a hateful bigot, according to the current definitions of the left.” (Colbert has three children, at last report.)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: “As you can imagine, it’s been a wild day around here. You may remember a few years back there was a gentleman on this program by the name of Stephen Colbert,” Jon Stewart said tonight at the top of his Comedy Central program The Daily Show, addressing CBS‘ hire of Colbert to replace David Letterman on Late Show. (Video below)
Wild cheering from the studio audience.
“He was yea high, skin like porcelain, very talented actor, writer, dancer, improvisational comedian. We would send him to the field, usually with some type of fruit, and see where the day took us.”
Related: CBS’ Late-Night Drama Not Over Yet
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: “I know we’ve got a big show to do tonight, but one thing before we get started,” Stephen Colbert said at the top of his Comedy Central show The Colbert Report, hours after CBS announced Colbert would replace David Letterman as host of Late Show (Video below).
“There was some big news last week that slipped through my news crack, and it concerns someone I’ve admired for years and yet, surprisingly, is not me. I’m talking about David Letterman who, last Thursday night, announced his retirement. And I am going to miss this good man,” Colbert said.