David Letterman Extends Agreement to Host 'Late Show With David Letterman' Through 2015

Categories: 1-Featured,Late Night TV Ratings,Network TV Press Releases

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October 4th, 2013

David Letterman, Late Show

via press release:




CBS and Worldwide Pants announced today a contract extension for David Letterman to host the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN through 2015.


“Les and I had a lengthy discussion, and we both agreed that I needed a little more time to fully run the show into the ground,” said Letterman.


“There is only one Dave, and we are extremely proud that he continues to call CBS ‘home,’” said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation.


David Letterman is the longest-running late night talk show host in television history at 31 years and counting.  He has been credited with redefining the talk show genre since “Late Night with David Letterman” premiered on NBC on Feb. 1, 1982.  The groundbreaking show earned a Peabody Award, five Emmy Awards and 35 Emmy nominations during its 11½ years on the air.


This year, the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN reached a milestone 20 years on the CBS Television Network.  Since its debut on CBS on August 30, 1993, the LATE SHOW has been honored with nine Emmy Awards, including six for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program, and a staggering 73 Emmy nominations.


THE LATE SHOW increased its audience 5% over last year during the opening week of the 2013-2014 broadcast season, with a weekly average of 3.14 million viewers.


The LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, broadcast weeknights (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, is a production of Worldwide Pants Incorporated. Barbara Gaines, Matt Roberts, Jude Brennan, Maria Pope, Eric Stangel, Justin Stangel and Rob Burnett are the executive producers.


  • Gerald

    I wonder how Craig feels. I also wonder how his show would work in the primetime spot. Craig delivers nightly but his timeslot, much like Conan’s old slot, let’s him do some zany stuff. Craig might be able to make a much calmer show work but I love his horse and his gay skeleton robot. Wouldn’t be the same without them.

  • JEst

    He has said in the past that he is happy with the slot that he has, based oin the reasons that you said. Granted,once it is known that Dave is ready to retire, his mind could change.

  • catsrule

    I wish NBC had the same respect for Leno that CBS does for Letterman.

  • cas127

    I’ve been a Letterman fan so long…I can remember when he was funny…

    In a lot of ways, the latter day Letterman is *exactly* what the early Letterman would mock the hell out of…

  • Jon

    A year extension does seem to suggest he will stand down in 2015 but I imagine he won’t announce his retirement until next year.

  • NewEnglandMike

    @Gerald. IF CBS is smart they are not giving the show to Craig Ferguson when Letterman finally retires. He’ll get killed by Fallon and Kimmel. I like Craig but he can’t play to an 11:30 mass audience.

  • Rick

    Great. More tanking from the CBS late night shows for another 2 years

  • AllOfHerTw!st

    I guess they’ll keep Jery Seinfeld and Louis CK waiting in the wings.

  • Diana Santiago

    I can hear Demin fans crying and wailing.

  • RJ

    I doubt Ferguson is first on the list to replace Letterman. I think CBS will go after Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert first; Jerry Seinfeld might also be in the mix (as mentioned above).

  • Adam Stabelli

    I’m not surprised. Moonves’s mentality that the talent decides when it’s time to leave, not the network, is a big factor here. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Dave continue to host the Late Show into his 70’s. As long as Moonves is head of CBS, Dave will be there.

  • Adam Stabelli

    By the way. According to Bill Carter, the new contract runs out in August 2015. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dave extend again.

  • Andrew

    This guy needs to give it up. He hasn’t been funny since the early 90s.

  • Matt

    It is worth noting that Conan’s contract runs out in 2015 as well, though not until November. Dave clearly has respect for Conan and he has already proven that he can draw a young audience at 11:35 — I don’t see Stewart leaving the Daily Show to host another late night show, as great as it would be to have him for an hour each night (no more having to go online to watch the rest of the interview!) but it seems very unlikely.

    2015 – Dave retires (I love the man and watch nightly, but it seems like that would be a fine time to bow out) and Conan steps in to host the network show which he has more than earned.

  • GARebelman

    And people mock Jay saying he won’t leave. Why not mock this guy too?

  • Adam Stabelli

    Dave has the same genes that Leno and Carson had. Johnny HATED being out of work. Leno hates being out of work. Dave hates being out of work.

  • Jon

    Jon Stewart would be great but I’m not sure if he would move to a broadcast network, Conan is a possibility but he might be considered too risky for CBS considering that he was ousted from The Tonight Show, my other option is Chelsea Handler as her contract also runs out in 2015 and would be a good competitor to the two Jimmys and the first woman in to host A broadcast latenight show although she’d have to turn down the humour.

  • Amy

    I think it will be between Jon Stewart and Conana when it comes to replacing Letterman.

  • Douglas in TN

    I doubt if Stewart would go to the network…his schtick is yelling and lobbing profanities. That’s all he’s got now. Doubt he could get away with most of it, even on CBS.

  • Gary Middleton

    “In a lot of ways, the latter day Letterman is *exactly* what the early Letterman would mock the hell out of…”

    cas, I think that’s ok. If people don’t evolve over 30 years, there’s something wrong. 30 straight years of deconstructionism doesn’t make a lot of sense. Would imagine that’s what Conan is bumping up against here, not having broken above 0.6 in ages.

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