The Late Show With Stephen Colbert [Updated]

Is something happening behind the scenes at Comedy Network that we don't know about. Because, first John Oliver ditches the Daily Show for HBO, and now this...

In the wake of David Letterman's announcement that he'll be retiring in 2015, there was a rampant scramble to guess who would replace him. What is now obvious is that Dave and the CBS brass have been discussing his departure for some time, because the broacaster has announced with great haste that Letterman's successor will be... Stephen Colbert. Colbert, who has won accolades (as well as Emmys, Grammys, Peabodys and other various honours) for his saterical new program The Colbert Report, will make the move from Comedy Central to the CBS flagship talkshow at some point next year. The exact date has yet to be determined, as Dave himself has not settled on a departure schedule (though, my guess would be the transition would happen over the summer, during the "season" transition).

The move makes financial and logistical sense for CBS - which is owned by Viacom, which also owns Comedy Central and The Report. The deal will see Colbert host The Late Show (or something similar) for five years. Said CBS, "Specific creative elements, as well as the producers and the location for the Colbert-hosted Late Show, will be determined and announced at a later date." It will, however, leave a noticable gap in Comedy Central's lineup, which has benfited from the one-two punch (and late night ratings domination) of Stewart and Colbert for the past decade. One can't help but feel that Oliver might have been a natural successor to Colbert, had this deal been announced a few months earlier (Oliver was apparently CBS' first choice, but he turned them down).

Colbert is king of his particular castle, and in many ways I actually prefer The Report to the Daily Show. I'm slightly nervous about what this change means. The Late Show under Colbert's direction will likely not be the news orientated satirical program that The Report has been. While I can understand if ten years playing the character Colbert might be a little exhausting, I'm interested in finding out what CBS expects from the new show [UPDATE: Colbert confirmed to the New York Times that he "won't be doing the new show in character, so we'll all get to find out how much of him was me. I'm looking forward to it."]. Said CBS CEO Les Moonves, "Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” said Moonves. Added Chairman of CBS Entertainment Nina Tassler "[He] is a multi-talented and respected host, writer, producer, satirist and comedian who blazes a trail of thought-provoking conversation, humor and innovation with everything he touches. He is a presence on every stage, with interests and notable accomplishments across a wide spectrum of entertainment, politics, publishing and music." CBS is in a position, with Colbert on at 11:30, and Craig Ferguson holding the fort after midnight, to redefine their late night landscape as the subversive option open to viewers. Only time will tell, as details continue to emerge over the next year.

Colbert himself stated: "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. I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth."

Via Uproxx.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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