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TCA: Politics In Late-Night? ‘Late Late Show’ Replacement May Not Be Talk Or Comedy Show

Nellie Andreeva

TCA: Politics In Late-Night? ‘Late Late Show’ Replacement May Not Be Talk Or Comedy ShowDuring CBS’ executive session, Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler discussed the network’s plans for late-night where David Letterman will retire from Late Show this coming season, to be succeeded by Stephen Colbert, and Craig Ferguson too will be leaving The Late Late Show. “We’re looking at it through a different lens,” Tassler said about CBS’ ideas for the 12:30 AM slot, currently occupied by Late Late Show. “The knee-jerk reaction is to go for another traditional, behind-the-desk interview show. But we are looking for all types of hosts, there is the political world, not just the comic world.” The Late Late Show replacement may or may not be a talk show, Tassler said. Employing the post-Craig Kilborn strategy of on-air tryouts with revolving hosts is a possibility.

As for the timing of the late-night transition, that still is being worked out, Tassler said. The network is in conversations with Colbert about the format of his Late Show, to which he will not be bringing the persona from his Comedy Central program. “He does want the interview format,” Tassler said, noting that talks are going back and forth whether to have a band on a show or not.

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David Letterman Walks Out On Joan Rivers: Video

By | Tuesday July 8, 2014 @ 5:39pm PDT

David Letterman Walks Out On Joan Rivers: VideoJoan 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:

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EMMYS: Late-Night Host Shifts Spur Bevy Of Fresh, But Not Unfamiliar, Faces

 

Awardsline logo_use this oneWith every aspect of television rapidly evolving, there probably isn’t an area that has undergone more sweeping changes in the past couple of years than late night. A slew of new shows cropped up across the dial, and the networks with the longest traditions in the day part, NBC and CBS, both changed the hosts of their late-night franchises. That big changeover could shake up the Outstanding Variety Series Emmy category, which has long been dominated by late-night shows. The field finally got a jolt last year, with The Colbert Report taking the Emmy after a 10-year winning streak for The Daily Show that followed five consecutive wins by Late Show with David Letterman.

colbert selfieThere were a handful of major late-night changes and new additions in the 1990s and the 2000s. The first botched Tonight Show transition in 1992, which installed Jay Leno as successor to Johnny Carson, led to CBS breaking NBC’s late-night monopoly with Letterman and the introduction of Conan O’Brien. They were followed by the launch of The Daily Show on Comedy Central.  The following decade saw the arrival of Jimmy Kimmel on ABC, The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately on E! and another messy Tonight Show transition at NBC, resulting in the launch of O’Brien’s Conan on TBS and the emergence of Jimmy Fallon.

Related: Lorne Michaels On ‘SNL’ Rebuilding, NBC’s Latenight Reboot Read More »

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NBA Finals-Fueled Jimmy Kimmel Beats Original ‘Tonight Show’ For First Time Ever, But ‘Tonight’ Takes The Week

jimmy-fallon-vs-jimmy-kimmel-650ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live beat an original episode of NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in the demo for the first time ever on Kimmel’s NBA Finals-fueled Thursday night last week. With its NBA Finals lead-in, Thursday’s Kimmel-cast clocked 1.482 million demo viewers to Fallon’s 1.226 million. But, despite Kimmel’s NBA lead-in on Thursday night, Fallon beat Kimmel, and CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman, in every key ratings measure for the week, including more overall viewers every night.

Last year, Kimmel’s week included repeats on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This year he repeated on Wednesday and Friday, and was up 15%. Tonight, however, scored the bigger year-to-year gains — 27%. Read More »

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UPDATE: Bill Maher Says CBS Treated Craig Ferguson “Shabbily” As David Letterman Delivers Detached Send-Off: Video

HBO late-night host Bill Maher tweeted this about Craig Ferguson‘s departure from CBS, at the end of the year:


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:

Related: Watch Craig Ferguson’s ‘Late Late Show’ Announcement: Video

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Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Darling Of Late-Night TV: Video

Late-night hosts last night warmed up the audience for today’s televised news conference, in which new-ish NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reveals how he will punish Clippers owner Donald Sterling for racist comments caught on audio tape made public by TMZ.

Related: Sterling Firestorm Drives Clippers Playoff Game To Top Of Twitter TV Ratings

The Daily Show:

Jimmy Kimmel Live:

Read More »

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Two Colberts Pass In The Night

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Stephen 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, StephenColbertLetterman__140423232924-575x468 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).
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Stephen Colbert On ‘Late Show With David Letterman’: Photos

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 6:53pm PDT

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.

Related: Stephen Colbert Visits David Letterman On CBS: Video

Dave Stephen handshake Read More »

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UPDATED: Stephen Colbert To Visit David Letterman’s Show Next Week (Video)

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 stephen_colbert-350x262word 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.”

Related: CBS’ Stephen Colbert Hire Shakes Up Late Night — And Far Right

“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.) Read More »

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CBS’s Stephen Colbert Hire Shakes Up Late Night — And Far Right

LettermanColbert

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198The day after CBS’s bombshell announcement that Stephen Colbert would replace David Letterman  on Late Show, when things calmed down a bit and reason returned to her throne, industry pundits began to contemplate the deeper meaning of the shift in the late-night landscape. Practically speaking, it means Comedy Central is now one late-night show short — and CBS may be as well, if Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson, or the network, decides to call it a day now that Craig’s for sure not getting the 11:35 PM timeslot.  We’ve all been brought up to speed on the clause in Craig’s contract that landed him a pot of cash if the network settled elsewhere on its Letterman replacement. 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 break. Read More »

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Conan O’Brien Endorses Stephen Colbert For ‘Late Show’ Host Gig

By | Saturday April 12, 2014 @ 12:00pm PDT

In an AP video today making its way around the web, latenight talk show host Conan O’Brien gave a warm thumbs up to Stephen Colbert taking over David Letterman’s seat on CBS’ Late Show. “I wasn’t up for it,” said the former Tonight Show host on whether he interviewed for the gig, “I’m very happy where I am. But I love Stephen. Stephen is great. I’m a huge fan of his as a comic and a human being. I think it’s fantastic and I’m really glad he got the job, and I look forward to seeing his show. It’s going to be fantastic.” O’Brien also comments about his hosting gig tomorrow night at the MTV Movie Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Take a look:

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UPDATE: Stephen Colbert Named CBS’ New ‘Late Show’ Host

steven colbertUPDATED WITH NEW DETAILS: A week after David Letterman announced his retirement, CBS has named his successor. Stephen Colbert has inked a five-year deal to take over Late Show, a move that is effective as soon as Letterman officially steps aside from the late-night show he has headlined since its launch on CBS in 1993. CBS will own Late Show With Stephen Colbert, unlike Late Show With David Letterman, which is owned by Letterman’s Worldwide Pants. CBS Corp Chairman Leslie Moonves said no dates have been set and reiterated that Letterman’s last day is the host’s to choose. Colbert is host of Comedy Central‘s faux-news show The Colbert Report, which airs in the east at the same time as Late Show, 11:30 PM. Colbert had been on the radar of top CBS brass for awhile and was Moonves’s top choice. Colbert too had had an eye on the job for a long time, synching up his Comedy Central contracts withlate show with david letterman logo Letterman’s. His current one is coming up at the end of this year, making him available for the Late Show host transition, slated for sometime in 2015. “Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” said Moonves in today’s announcement. “David Letterman’s legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today’s announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night.”

Related:
CBS Corp. Boss Leslie Moonves Takes A ‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ Victory Lap
CBS’ Late-Night Drama Not Over Despite Practically Perfect Stephen Colbert Hire
Read More »

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CBS’ Late-Night Drama Not Over Yet Despite Practically Perfect Stephen Colbert Hire

CBS Late Show marqueeCBS’ announcement today that Comedy Central rock star Stephen Colbert would replace David Letterman as host of its late-night show in 2015 caps a whirlwind week in which the network jumped from being just a little footnote in the coverage of The Battle Of The Two Jimmys to the undisputed star of the late-night drama. But don’t get out of your seats yet – the drama’s not over. CBS execs are thought to be frustrated with Craig Ferguson’s show that follows Dave’s (it is co-produced by CBS and Letterman’s Worldwide Pants, which will depart as Late Show producer when its boss retires.) Ferguson’s numbers have not broadened out as CBS had hoped, and there are rumblings that CBS isn’t done yet and we should expect another move to come. On the bright side, Ferguson will now benefit from the lucrative (reportedly in the neighborhood of $5M) succession clause in his contract, CBS having made its other choice.

Related: David Letterman On Stephen Colbert’s Hire

Asked about Ferguson’s future at the network, CBS chief Leslie Moonves today acknowledged Ferguson’s contract is up soon, adding, “we’re having conversations” and “there is nothing to report now.”

Craig Ferguson LettermanMoonves being a confirmed showman, his network went into information lock-down the instant Letterman announced his retirement last Thursday. Since then, until this morning’s Colbert news, network execs approached by reporters with succession questions took on the cautious reserve usually seen in cbs-logo__120711164808__121116195436__130108233101__130716162250__130926192712__131121001522better breeds of canines when offered a piece of green leafy vegetable by a stranger of whose bona fides they are not convinced. The reporters, who had flung themselves at their computers and pounded out their Dave Is Leaving copy in an ecstasy of Era-Ending Grief, tore through the list of supposed candidates, most of whom were dismissable:

* Leno, who went out on top in the late-night ratings — a storyline worth sticking with.

* Chelsea Handler, who had a jump-start over the others, having already begun her E! Is a Sad, Sad Place To Live Tour in search of a new late-night job, but who is one of those tough modern female comics, with their sardonic eyes and their freedom of speech and breadth of vocabulary, which made her a lousy fit for Moonves, who is passionate about legacy and prestige.

* Neil Patrick Harris, consummate song-and-dance man and a longtime player at The Les Moonves Repertoire Theatre, who, though a much better fit than, say Handler, took himself out of the running when he said late-night would be an insane amount of work, and he hadn’t actually been approached.

* Tina Fey, a member of The Lorne Michaels Repertory Theatre, who would have had to competing against Michaels’ exec produced The Tonight Show, now hosted by her former SNL Weekend Update partner Jimmy Fallon.

* Louis C.K., who only made the list because, on his FX comedy, he once played a version of himself who was in line to replace Letterman, and the media loves art-imitates-life gags.

* Jimmy Kimmel, who only made the list because he told TV Guide last month, “I’d definitely consider it,” when asked if he’d go to CBS to replace Dave, adding, “I am loyal to ABC and grateful to them for giving me a shot… I’m not looking to flee. But just getting a call from Dave would be big for me. So it’s definitely something I would listen to.”

Read More »

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David Letterman On Stephen Colbert’s Hire

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 11:02am PDT

LettermanColbertDavid Letterman has released a statement reacting to today’s news that Stephen Colbert will take over Late Show when Letterman retires sometime in 2015. Colbert equally praised Letterman in today’s announcement saying, “Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career. I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.” Here’s Letterman’s reaction.

Related: Stephen Colbert Reacts To ‘Late Show’ Hire

“Stephen has always been a real friend to me. I’m very excited for him, and I’m flattered that CBS chose him. I also happen to know they wanted another guy with glasses.”

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Dave Letterman And Oprah Discuss Lindsay Lohan Like She’s Not There: Video

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Jimmy Fallon got Lindsay Lohan first — but David Letterman got her best when he turned her visit to his CBS late-night program into a sparring match with Oprah Winfrey, aka Lohan’s life coach/reality-series producer. In the segment taped today for tonight’s show (see the clip below), Lohan is the one who first said, “Should we call Oprah?” while she and Dave were talking. As befits the importance of the occasion — Lohan’s OWN ratings are taking a tumble,  with most recently episode scoring only 390,000 viewers — the child-star-turned-adult-actress-train-wreck is dressed as a bedazzled baby-grand piano.   Dave responds, grumpily, “No, we’re not.” This back and forth continued for a while — LettermanLohanLohan staunchly pro-Oprah-calling, Dave steadfastly anti-Oprah-calling, until the call is finally made. Raise your hand if you too thought all along that would be the outcome.

Dave starts off strong, throwing Oprah off by using another voice. “Who is this?” she asks dubiously, growing even frostier when he says he’s Lohan’s assistant — presumably because Oprah doesn’t take calls from assistants. “It’s Dave, Oprah,” Letterman cackles. “Oh my God –  Very good, Dave!” Winfrey says, graciously conceding the point, adding, “The David Letterman who’s retiring?”

They prattle on merrily for a brief while; Dave asks Oprah how she thinks Lohan is doing now that she has completed the latest rehab stint at the heart of her OWN reality series. “I think she’s doing OK, what do you think?” Oprah says, noncommittally,  not wanting to give away the ending of the series by pronouncing Lohan healed. “I loved her since she was 6 years old, Letterman responds, only slightly creepily. Read More »

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David Letterman Talks About Phoning Les Moonves And The Real Reason He’s Quitting: Video

After yesterday’s face-slap announcement that he will retire next year, David Letterman told his Late Show audience tonight, “A year from now, I’ll be on a beach with a metal detector.” He also mentioned getting an unexpected response when he called CBS chief Leslie Moonves to tell him the news. And as for Letterman’s longtime makeup person — well, have a look for yourself:

Related:
Who Will Inherit David Letterman’s Late-Night Seat?
David Letterman Through The Years: Video
LA Mayor Urges CBS To Bring Letterman Successor’s Show To West Coast

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David Letterman Through The Years: Video

tv-lookoutOn the day the king of late-night longevity announced his plans to retire, we thought we’d take a look back at some of David Letterman‘s most memorable moments. We’ll start with two unforgettable incidents from his NBC days and work our way up through the CBS era. First, we set the wayback machine to the first Reagan administration …

Andy Kaufman vs. the Wrestler, July 1982
The polarizing comic was known at the time for wrestling women and mouthed off until he finally got into the squared circle with a man. He took on pro grappler Jerry “The King” Lawler and lost, falling victim to a piledriver. A few months later, the two faced off on Late Night:

Related: Watch David Letterman Announce His Retirement Read More »

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UPDATE: David Letterman Ends An Era, Announcing He Will Retire In 2015

UPDATED THROUGHOUT, 7:35 PM: CBS late-night star David LettermanDavid Letterman Retiring Late Night With David Letterman surprised his studio audience this afternoon when he announced he is retiring in 2015. “The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance. And I phoned him just before the program, and I said ‘Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring,’” Letterman told his Ed Sullivan Theatre crowd, who reacted with stunned silence. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Letterman only notified Moonves this morning.

Related:
David Letterman Through The Years: Video
Watch David Letterman Announce His Retirement Read More »

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UPDATE: Watch David Letterman’s Full Announcement Of His Retirement

By | Thursday April 3, 2014 @ 5:44pm PDT

UPDATED, with video of full announcement: David Letterman stunned his Late Show studio audience today when he abruptly announced that he will retire next year. He began by telling the studio crowd he will be celebrating his 67th birthday in about a week (April 12), at which time, he said, he will have spent about half his life “behind this desk” and “in makeup.” At CBS, he said, he’s done 4,014 shows, At NBC, he did 1,810 shows. He hosted a short-lived NBC morning show before that, doing 90 episodes. “What this represents is 5,914 — almost 6,000 shows, ladies and gentlemen.” One story about spotting an immature bald eagle later, Letterman announced, after thanking his staff, CBS and his viewers: “We don’t have the timing of this precisely down; it will be at least a year or so. But at some time in the not too distant future — 2015, for the love of God — in fact, Paul and I will be wrapping things up and taking a hike.”

Related:
Who Will Inherit Letterman’s Late-Night Seat? (Slideshow)
David Letterman Through The Years: Video

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