Stephen Colbert Succeeding David Letterman as Host of CBS’ ‘The Late Show’
Well, that was fast! Just one week after David Letterman dropped the ‘Late Show’ bombshell that he would retire in 2015, his replacement has officially been announced. Following early and decisive rumors, Stephen Colbert will officially leave behind Comedy Central’s ‘Colbert Report‘ to ascend the late-night throne as the new host of CBS’ ‘The Late Show.’ You’re welcome, nation!
Colbert had been rumored as the frontrunner, particularly following years-earlier talk of Letterman’s inevitable retirement, but no one quite expected CBS to make an official confirmation this quickly. Even with Letterman’s April 3 announcement, no exact 2015 date for Colbert’s takeover has yet been confirmed
Here’s CBS’ press release on the matter:
The CBS Television Network today announced that Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning “The Colbert Report,” will succeed David Letterman as the host of THE LATE SHOW, effective when Mr. Letterman retires from the broadcast. The five-year agreement between CBS and Colbert was announced by Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation, and Nina Tassler, Chairman of CBS Entertainment.
Letterman, the legendary, critically acclaimed host of the CBS late night series for 21 years, announced his retirement on his April 3 broadcast. Colbert’s premiere date as host of THE LATE SHOW will be announced after Mr. Lettermen determines a timetable for his final broadcasts in 2015.
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.
“Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” said Moonves. “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.”
“Stephen 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,” said Tassler. ”He is a presence on every stage, with interests and notable accomplishments across a wide spectrum of entertainment, politics, publishing and music. We welcome Stephen to CBS with great pride and excitement, and look forward to introducing him to our network television viewers in late night.”
“Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” said Colbert. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.”
Adding, “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.”
As previously noted, Colbert remains contracted with ‘The Colbert Report’ through the end of 2014, and will likely drop his ultra-conservative ‘Colbert Report’ persona, which comprises much of his current appeal, despite landing him in hot water now and again. Colbert is also reportedly selective of his guests, and will likely need to acquiesce to a broader spectrum of Hollywood talent for his ‘Late Show.’
Well, what do we think? Is Stephen Colbert a worthy successor to David Letterman for ‘The Late Show?’ Tell us who you want to see join the late-night lineup in the comments!