Late night mainstay David Letterman has announced that he plans to retire in 2015. “The Late Show” host announced the decision during a taping of the show Thursday and released a subsequent statement:
"We don't have the timetable for this precisely down. I think it will be at least a year or so, but sometime in the not too distant future, 2015 for the love of God, in fact, Paul [Shaffer] and I will be wrapping things up.”
His announcement sparked immediate speculation about possible heirs. Late night talk shows have been in reinvention mode for the past decade in hopes of luring those coveted young male viewers. With the recent ascension of Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel to the late night host desks at NBC and ABC, respectively, the pressure is on for CBS to find a suitable replacement.
"David Letterman is not only the longest standing late night TV host in history, he's probably if not as equally as influential as Johnny Carson," said Dominic Patten, Legal Editor and writer at Deadline. "David Letterman changed the landscape. Anyone who is going to follow him is going to inherit his legacy, figuratively and literally."
Who would you like to see as the next host of “The Late Show”? Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote an open letter to Les Moonves, pitching CBS’ head honcho the idea of bringing the talk show to Los Angeles. What are the chances of that happening?
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Dominic Patten, Legal Editor and writer at Deadline, a news site covering Hollywood and the entertainment industry.
Robert Thompson, professor of radio, film and TV at Syracuse University and Director, Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture