Well, that was fast! Just days after David Letterman announced his retirement from "The Late Show," the CBS Television Network today announced that Stephen Colbert, the
host, writer and executive producer of the Emmy and Peabody
Award-winning “The Colbert Report,” will succeed Letterman, effective when Letterman retires from the broadcast.
Letterman, who announced his retirement on his April 3 broadcast, is expected to leave CBS in 2015. The long-time late night host signed a two-year deal with the network in 2013. At the time he retires, Letterman will have headed "The Late Show" for 22 years.
The five-year agreement between CBS and Colbert was announced by Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation, and Nina Tassler, Chairman of CBS Entertainment. Details of the Colbert-hosted "Late Show," such as the producers and location, are yet to be determined.
"Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television," said Moonves. "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 said, "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."
Since its launch on Comedy Central in 2005, "The Colbert Report" has earned two Peabody Awards and 27 Emmy nominations, including an Emmy win for Outstanding Variety Series (2013) and three Emmy wins for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program (2013, 2010, 2008). Prior to that, Colbert spent eight years as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s "The Daily Show" as an on-air personality and writer of news satire for the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series.
Now the question is: who will replace Colbert as host of "The Colbert Report?"