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.


  • Dave

    Conan is the guy to replace Letterman when he decides to bow out. Letterman should reach out to him if he hasn’t already.

  • Douglas in TN

    I like Conan..think he’s one of the all time greats in late night and in comedy.

    But, frankly, he had his chance at 11:30. Yeah, he did in part get screwed by Jay Leno and Leno’s failure at 10PM, but before that his numbers were soft. I do think they would have shored up, but we’ll never know.

    Late night television needs some reimagination. CBS may be the network to do that when Dave eventually bows out.

  • GARebelman

    Do people realize Conan is like 50 now? By the time Letterman does retire both him and Craig Ferguson will probably be eligible for Medicare LOL

  • Tony

    Neil Patrick Harris is the answer for CBS. He’s already been one of the network’s stars and this is the final season of How I Met Your Mother so his schedule will be free for 2014 and beyond.

  • Adam Stabelli

    Or else CBS can just axe the Late Show when Letterman retires.

  • spin away

    Yeah,they could do a MH,MH revival or run Kojak repeats five nights a week.

  • Donald

    could CBS just buy the rights to air Conan off TBS and just play that instead at 11:30?

  • Gary Middleton

    If they give the show to Conan, it will be a very lazy decision. It will be because he is one of the only experienced candidates.

    Otherwise, it would be baffling. Big Bang Theory is the cornerstone CBS show of this decade, and Conan has shown he can’t draw a crowd after it. CBS is primarily the network of very straightforward, middle American shows so why hand over late night to a practitioner of anti-comedy?

  • Oliver

    CBS will replace Letterman with a revival of Silk Stalkings. Just you wait and see.

  • k:Alex

    Now the pension finally know when they have to pay money.

  • DM

    To be honest, I don’t think Craig wants to move to 11:35. He does pretty much whatever he wants to with his show now, he’d most definitely have to scale things back an hour earlier.

    I feel like Letterman has put together some really, really great shows recently. He seems to have a weight lifted off his shoulders, and he’s doing a show that he’s having fun with again. He’s more opinionated, the interviews are more interesting. It’s been fun to watch.

  • rgxx

    Letterman needs to hang up his hat…I was a fan since he was on NBC..However, he is no longer funny. He also is toooo political – using his show to push his agendas- stick to comedy or retire.

  • William

    I hope nbc will enjoy being number 3, or 4 in the rating for there late night programing when jay leno leaves. it appears that might be what they wanted all along so their late night programing falls in line with the rest of the networks ratings.

  • USAmerica1st

    Why not? He’s got this down to a science and there is no urgency to push him out. He’s a fixture: if it’s not broke, leave it alone. Ratings are decent.

  • kscottk11

    Jon, I don’t think either Chelsea Handler or Conan would be a real option for CBS replacing Letterman at 11:30.

    First, Chelsea is too crude and obnoxious for network TV. She would have to tone-down her act for network TV, and that would kill her late night career.

    I think she is doing fairly well on the little E Network. It’s a cheap show to produce that’s got a loyal following. And it stands on it’s own following no lead-in support.

    And, also, I don’t think Conan is a real possibility at CBS because he’s “burned” so many bridges in late night and CBS might not want to touch him. Also, I don’t think he’s adapted his humor to be broad enough to anchor a wide national 11:30 network show.

    When February 2014 comes around and Leno gone, I think late night TV viewers might become more fragmented than ever with so many players trying to grab a piece of this “Late Night Pie.”

    I think there could be some causalities in this crowded late night universe.

  • Jim LaForte

    Dave will leave on his own terms. Like I said in an earlier post, I am of the thinking that Dave has another good fight left in him. Opposite the two Jimmy’s, Dave is the King. It all hinges on guest line up, comedy, CBS actually MARKETING “LATE SHOW with David Letterman” off of the network and on the rest of Viacom’s properties. Just my opinion, that is all. How does one walk away from applause, adulation, getting to be on television every night and getting a big fat paycheck to boot. How does one ever walk away from that king of gig?

  • Adam Stabelli

    Another example is the Writer’s Strike of 1988. It affected the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in this way. Johnny was out of work. He HATED being out of work. Carson was supposed to retire in 1990. And Letterman was pretty much the given successor. But since Johnny hated being out of work, he extended his stay and retired in 1992. When he did retire, he was EXTREMELY loose ends. He didn’t know what to do with himself. I’m sure Dave feels the same way. If he gives up the show, what would he do with his life?

  • JoeyDavid.com

    All I know is if Jerry Seinfeld replaces Letterman I will NOT be watching. I think that guy is so annoying and pretentious it kills to watch. And his fake laugh which is so obvious, there’s a reason why it took a long time for his show to get good ratings back then, he’s just not funny.

  • miles silverberg

    I don’t see Conan as a realistic succeessor to Dave on CBS. I was a vocal member of Team Coco while all that fun, nasty NBC drama was going on, but I’ve just realized that since Conan’s TBS show premiered, I’ve watched it maybe 4 times. I think he’s in a talk show cul-de-sac at this point.

    I don’t see Seinfeld putting in the commitment to 4-5 nights a week, helping other people shine in the guest chair. Everything he does now seems more like a hobby, which is honestly all he needs it to be — he’s set for life and a half.

    I like the previous suggestion of NPH. He’s personable but can snark like a pro, he’s a more rounded entertainer than the usual crop of standup comics, and he loves New York. He could host The Late Show and still star in Broadway shows after the tapings.

  • JoeyDavid.com

    i think Neil Patrick Harris will be an excellent choice, he’s got that TV presence that most don’t have. SO I will call him up and tell him.

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