A post-Letterman 'Late Show'

Letterman’s got a contract to host ‘Late Show’ through 2015. Should he retire after that, is it expected the Late Show franchise will live on in the same fashion as ‘The Tonight Show’ with a different host? Or is this *his *show that dies when he does (or retires)?

If it were to continue, who would you like to see replace him? Craig Ferguson? Maybe it’s Conan’s opportunity to return to network/11:30/Dave’s coattails/New York/sticking it to NBC?

Conan should take it, though I think Craig Ferguson would be awesome.

I’d go in a different direction and gamble on Whitney Cummings. Let Fallon, Kimmel and Conan fight it out for the boys.

I’ve read that Ferguson has the option to take it over when Dave retires. That may just be rumor, though. Letterman’s company owns the Late Late Show and has powerful incentives for keeping continuity.

Louis CK just for continuity’s sake with the show Louie.

So Seinfeld will get it then?

That was such a great episode of Louie.

Ferguson is the most underrated man on late night TV. The guy is legitimately off-the-cuff in a world of pre-approved celebrity anecdotes. And with his nothing-budget, he’s dollar-for-dollar the funniest.

I don’t see Conan making a comeback to network TV.

I love Ferguson, but think he is already “too old” for network executives. They seem to think there are a gazillion 18-24 year old kids just dying to watch late night TV (because they have nothing else to do at that time of night) and all they need to do to lasso those young viewers in is a young host.

Late night talk shows are not as easy as it may seem - just take a look at the rather long list of failed attempts by some rather successful, popular comedians/celebrities. Someone might be hysterical in stand up, or on their sitcom, but when it comes to doing five shows a week year round, well - suddenly they ain’t so funny or good anymore.

Pretty much my understanding as well. Ferguson seems the obvious heir. He has managed to perform well in the ratings against Fallon. If his numbers fall against Seth Meyers things might change.

It’s a nice thought that David Letterman would be of the opinion that he wouldn’t want done to Ferguson, what was once done to him. IOW, hopefully he would want Ferguson to take over.

Personally I used to be a big Ferguson fan, but not so much lately. Some of humor is no so fresh anymore. I don’t think a talking skeleton is the best idea for The Late Show. I’ve been enjoying Kimmel the most lately.

Actually, Letterman doesn’t retire.

I agree. I was a big Ferguson fan in the early years but he plateaued and then completely stuck in that rut.

I know when Dave went to CBS one of the selling points was he got ownership of the show, so he could probably just end it if he wanted to. But I don’t see him having any reason to want to, CBS has been very good to him. And if a new host is successful he’d make money from it too.

The idea of him wanting to ‘give’ the job to Conan is great karma. Still, I think he’d remain loyal to Ferguson. If Ferguson didn’t want the job for some reason however, it would be both wonderfully ironic and incredibly Letterman-ish to offer it to Conan!

Of course even if he chose to end it, CBS could just run another talk show in that slot under another name.

The only one who beats him is Graham Norton, who more or less pushes for all his guests to come out and once and be willing to actually talk openly about wherever the conversation goes. It’s only once a week, but I often think that Craig Ferguson wishes his show was like that one(he clearly could handle it).

OK, so bonus question:

When will Dave retire, if ever?

I never dreamed he’d pass Johnny in terms of years in late night, but he has done that already. Only 21 years at 11:30, but still. I honestly thought he gave up really caring about 10-11 years ago, but he keeps on rolling on and renewing his contract. He must actually enjoy it on some level.

I’m not sure Craig Ferguson would take it if offered - his whole thing with doing his talk show from Day One has been de-constructing the genre; The Late Show might be too establishment for him, forcing him to become more legitimate.

On the other hand, maybe he is just a big ol’ late night whore. :smiley:

I think Dave only wanted to keep going until Jay was finally done for good. That was the only “win” he could hope for. So the 2015 retirement is quite possible.

Except … CBS is making really good money on the show. They have no one else that would do as well in that slot so they are going to really want to keep him around.

Note that WWP has been really good for CBS and vice versa. The money they made off of Everybody Loves Raymond is immense. WWP also co-owns The Late Late Show.

Dave is incredibly loyal. He always felt bad about bumping Tom Snyder at NBC so he brought him in as host of The Late Late Show to make up for that. He would go bananas if Ferguson doesn’t get the 11:35 slot when he leaves. CBS would have to nearly start over in both time slots, new hosts, new production companies, etc.

I think they would give Ferguson a try. When he “does a Conan”, then WWP would agree to someone else. But they would require a trial period first. So the interesting question would be who would get the 12:35 slot? That person would be poised to take over for Ferguson at 11:35.

And I like Geoff Peterson. Best talk show sidekick ever.

Agreed. I love it when he makes Craig laugh so hard he loses it. :smiley:

Watching Craig and Josh/Geoff break each other up is the best part of the Late Late Show for sure. There are always periods where Craig seems kind of bored, but one of his best qualities is that he wants to do things his way and entertain himself. So I don’t know if he would want to move to an earlier time slot and potentially have to make changes to his act.

I don’t think Craig Ferguson wants the earlier slot, as it would limit him further on the kind of comedy he wants to do. He already rails against the restrictions he thinks are absurd for a 12.30am show.