David Letterman’s new deal with CBS will keep him on the air long enough to beat the record set by his idol, Johnny Carson.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Letterman signed to keep his “Late Show” going through 2014. Craig Ferguson, host of CBS’s Letterman-owned lead-out “Late Late Show,” also signed to stay on through 2014.
Letterman is on track to beat Johnny Carson’s record of consecutively hosting a late-night talk show for 30 years, the story notes. Letterman is getting close to that mark already, having set up shop in late-night in 1982 with his NBC show “Late Night,” following a brief early foray into daytime talk.
Tonight’s edition of “Late Show with David Letterman” is getting a lot of attention because of the booking of Keith Olbermann, fresh off a rancorous stint on Current TV. As we reported previously, Olbermann got the boot from Current late last week.
Known for being caustic, Olbermann has had plenty to say about his former bosses at Current, including co-founder Al Gore, in the days since his ouster from the network. Olbermann has also threatened legal action against Current TV.
Commenting on the new contracts, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler said: “David Letterman is a late-night legend with an iconic show and Craig Ferguson continues to evolve the genre in exciting and innovative ways. These new agreements deliver ongoing high-quality entertainment for our audience and continued strength and stability for CBS in late-night.”
Letterman’s show has been averaging 3.3 million viewers thus far this season, trailing Jay Leno’s 3.7 million on NBC’s “Tonight Show,” EW notes. Both shows have pulled in 0.9 ratings in viewers 18-49.