Late Show

Late Show Information

Late Show is an American late-night television talk and variety show on CBS. It first aired in August 1993 with host David Letterman, who previously hosted Late Night with David Letterman on NBC from 1982 to 1993. It is produced by Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, and CBS Television Studios. It originates from the Ed Sullivan Theater. In most U.S. markets the show airs from 11:35 p.m. to 12:37 a.m. Eastern and Pacific Time.

On April 3, 2014, Letterman announced that he planned to retire in 2015. CBS announced Stephen Colbert as his successor soon after. CBS has confirmed that the new program will retain the Late Show name, and it will continue to be broadcast from the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City.

Host history

Host From To Number
of Shows
Date Age Date Age
David Letterman August 30, 1993 46 2015 68 4000+
Stephen Colbert 2015 51 - - -


David Letterman (1993-present)

See Late Show with David Letterman for more information

CBS had previously attempted late-night talk shows with The Merv Griffin Show (1969-1972) and The Pat Sajak Show (1989-1990) but were unable to compete with NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and were cancelled due to poor ratings. For most of the 20 years preceding Late Show, CBS's late night fare consisted of movies, re-runs and specialty programming packaged under the titles CBS Late Night and Crimetime After Primetime and broadcast to middling ratings. When David Letterman became available after being passed over by NBC for The Tonight Show, CBS was eager to lure him and offered him a three-year, $14 million per year contract, doubling his Late Night salary. According to their agreement, the show would spend a month in Hollywood at least once a year.

CBS purchased the Ed Sullivan Theater for four million dollars, spending "several million more" for renovation. The renovation was supervised by architect James Polshek. CBS' total cost for acquiring the show including renovations, negotiation right paid to NBC, signing Letterman, announcer Bill Wendell, Shaffer, the writers and the band was over $140 million.

When Letterman moved to CBS and began Late Show, several of Late Nights long-running comedy bits made the move with him. Letterman renamed a few of his regular bits to avoid legal problems over trademark infringement (NBC cited that what he did on Late Night was "intellectual property" of the network). "Viewer Mail" on NBC became the "CBS Mailbag", and Larry "Bud" Melman began to use his real name, Calvert DeForest. Paul Shaffer's "World's Most Dangerous Band" became "The CBS Orchestra", a jab at NBC regarding the show's new home, and a play on the NBC Orchestra of the long running The Tonight Show. Letterman's signature bit, the Top Ten List, was perfunctorily renamed the "Late Show Top Ten List" (over time it was simply referred to again by its original name).

In ratings, Letterman's Late Show topped Leno's Tonight Show for its first two years. Leno pulled ahead on July 10, 1995, starting with a Hugh Grant interview, after Grant's much-publicized arrest for picking up an LA prostitute. Leno also benefited from the lead-in provided by NBC's popular Must See TV prime time programs of the mid-to-late 1990s. Likewise the CBS network was hurt by affiliation switches in late 1994 relating to Fox picking up CBS's National Football League rights, stunting the Late Show just as it was beginning to gain traction.

Announcer Bill Wendell left in 1995, with Alan Kalter taking his place.

On April 3, 2014, Letterman announced his retirement on an unspecified date in 2015.

Stephen Colbert (beginning 2015)

See Late Show with Stephen Colbert for more information Stephen Colbert will succeed Letterman as host in 2015, agreeing to a five-year contract. In contrast with Colbert's previous program The Colbert Report, in which he plays a fictional character also named Stephen Colbert, Colbert will host the show (which will retain the Late Show branding) as himself.

In terms of location, several municipalities sought to acquire the Late Show, among them New York City, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Connecticut. A report in the New York Daily News indicated that CBS Corporation had paid over $40,000 in campaign contributions to incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo in an effort to lobby the governor for certain tax breaks to keep the show in New York City. A deal to keep the show at the Ed Sullivan Theater, which includes $16,000,000 in state tax incentives over a five-year period, was made official on July 23, 2014.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Late_Show_%28CBS_TV_series%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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