With Jimmy Fallon replacing Jay Leno on The Tonight Show this year, we saw a shift in late night toward a younger age demographic. Now CBS is following in that trend. The network announced today that Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central will replace David Letterman when Letterman retires next year.
CBS' announcement revealed that Colbert has signed a five-year contract with the network. Details on the new Colbert-led Late Show, including producers and the show's location, will be determined and announced later. The specific start date will be decided once Letterman figures out the exact date of his last show.
CBS president Les Moonves said, "Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television. David Letterman's legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today's announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night."
Colbert added, "Simply being a guest on David Letterman's show has been a highlight of my career. I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave's lead. I'm thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth."
Comedy Central issued a statement confirming that The Colbert Report will continue for eight more months, stating, "Comedy Central is proud that the incredibly talented Stephen Colbert has been part of our family for nearly two decades. We look forward to the next eight months of the ground-breaking Colbert Report and wish Stephen the very best."
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