David Letterman, Late Show

Lots of chatter in the TV media in the last 48 hours over the possible fate of David Letterman now that he’s admitted sleeping with a member (or members?) of his staff (as well as an associated extortion attempt) . (like, but not limited to this LA Times story, and this NY Times story)

I don’t know anything more than the most general publicly available reports, but I’ll predict one thing. He’s not going anywhere.

Two reasons:

  1. Success. Since mid-summer, Dave’s been beating Conan’s Tonight Show in average viewership and inching closer in the important adult demo groups. Recent nights have him winning in the demo groups as well. That’s better than Late Show Night has done vs. The Tonight Show since the 90’s. CBS is not going to get rid of a winner.
  2. Les Moonves. Slept with and later married CBS employee Julie Chen. Seems to be a pot/kettle/black situation which leaves Les little moral standing to call for Dave to go.

This isn’t a comment on what Letterman did. just that it won’t matter to his future on CBS. I think Dave will still be behind the Late Night desk after all this has blown over.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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