Late night television will never be the same following the news that David Letterman intends to retire from hosting his Late Show With David Letterman program.
It seems Letterman is finally ready to move on from the late night hosting gig:
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.
David Letterman plans to retire in 2015, ending his run as the host of one of the longest running late night programs in television history.
Former late night rival Jay Leno recently retired (albeit, a second time) from hosting The Tonight Show and was replaced by Jimmy Fallon. Fallon talked about Letterman’s announcement and even shared reasons why he thinks Letterman may want to retire.
The Top 10 List is a longtime trademark of Letterman’s show and hopefully Letterman appreciated the homage.
All sentiment aside…what happens now?
CBS no doubt recognizes that its station is about to have a huge void in the late night line-up. Not just anyone can replace Letterman; choosing haphazardly could prove disastrous.
NBC found this out the hard way the first time they attempted to replace Jay Leno. Conan O’Brien was selected, but his fans did not follow him to a new show and channel. In the end, his brand was too distinct and it was not a good fit.
Jimmy Fallon was already hosting a late night program on the station, so it wasn’t as if he was a stranger. His stepping in for Leno has proved to be a success despite early concerns.
— Mashable (@mashable) April 4, 2014
Perhaps CBS will take this into consideration as they work to replace Letterman. A number of names have already been brought up, including Stephen Colbert and Ellen DeGeneres.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is a very popular daytime television show, but there’s no telling how DeGeneres will fare in the late night hours.
Stephen Colbert of the satirical Colbert Report seems to be at the top of the list, but its up to the network to try and figure out which candidate is well enough known to draw interest without damaging the existing Late Show brand.
Who do YOU think should replace David Letterman on the air? Comment below!
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