Musical chairs continue in late-night as Craig Ferguson announces that he has decided to step down as host of CBS's "The Late Late Show" at the end of this year.
He will leave sometime in December.
"Ferguson broke the news this afternoon [Monday, April 28, 2014] to his studio audience during the taping of the show," CBS said.
In the network's announcement CBS Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler said: "During his 10 years as host, Craig has elevated CBS to new creative and competitive heights at 12:30. He infused the broadcast with tremendous energy, unique comedy, insightful interviews and some of the most heartfelt monologues seen on television."
Tassler added: "Craig’s versatile talents as a writer, producer, actor and comedian speak to his great days ahead. While we’ll miss Craig and can't thank him enough for his contributions to both the show and the network, we respect his decision to move on, and we look forward to celebrating his final broadcasts during the next eight months."
Said Ferguson: "CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling,’ but we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much."
The network announcement adds: "Ferguson has several projects in the works, including hosting 'Celebrity Name Game,' a syndicated game show, beginning fall 2014, as well as developing television projects via his Green Mountain West production company."
Time magazine reports in its account of Ferguson's upcoming departure from "The Late Late Show": "There has been speculation that Ferguson, who has been in the slot since 2005, would be departing this year with his contract expiring and Letterman’s production company reportedly not producing any more late shows after the host departs. 'The Late Late Show' was averaging just under 1.5 million viewers vs. 'Late Night’s' 2.2 million recently.
"Ferguson’s contract also reportedly guaranteed a payout of between $8 million and $10 million if the network decided to give the 'Late Show' hosting gig to anyone else, which it did when Stephen Colbert was tapped to take over for Letterman when he retires in 2015.
"And while Colbert is already in place to join the late-night lineup, Ferguson’s replacement has yet to be announced. Neil Patrick Harris has been floated as a contender, though other hosts who were rumored to be in the running like Chelsea Handler have already been ruled out."
Here's the video from last night's show where Ferguson announces he's leaving: