David Letterman and Craig Ferguson will remain on CBS through at least 2014, which means two things:
First, that television's best two late-night hosts aren't going anywhere.
(Letterman and Ferguson are No. 1 and No. 2. Although not necessarily in that order.)
And, second, that Letterman will surpass his idol/mentor Johnny Carson in terms of late-night longevity.
Carson was the host of "The Tonight Show" for 30 years. At the end of his current contract, Letterman will have spent 32 years as host of "Late Night" and the "Late Show."
That's an amazing run in a business that doesn't often lead to such longevity. It's probably never going to happen again.
Here's CBS' official release announcing the new deals:
CBS ANNOUNCES NEW CONTRACT EXTENSIONS WITH LATE NIGHT STARS DAVID LETTERMAN AND CRAIG FERGUSON THROUGH 2014
CBS has reached agreements with David Letterman and Craig Ferguson for contract extensions to host their respective late night franchises - LATE SHOW and THE LATE LATE SHOW - through 2014, it was announced today by Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment. Both series are produced by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
During the course of this agreement, Letterman, who premiered in late night in 1982, would become the longest-running late night talk show host in television history, surpassing the current record of 30 years by Johnny Carson.
As part of this new deal, THE LATE LATE SHOW will move to a larger stage at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, and CBS will co-produce the series with Worldwide Pants, Inc.
"David Letterman is a late night legend with an iconic show and Craig Ferguson continues to evolve the genre in exciting and innovative ways," said Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment. "These new agreements deliver ongoing high-quality entertainment for our audience and continued strength and stability for CBS in late night."
David Letterman has been credited with redefining the talk-show genre when "Late Night with David Letterman" premiered Feb. 1, 1982. The groundbreaking show earned a Peabody Award, five Emmy Awards and 35 Emmy nominations during its 11½ years on the air. Since its debut on CBS on Aug. 30, 1993, the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN has been honored with nine Emmy Awards, including six for "Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program," and a staggering 70 Emmy nominations.
Since its debut in 2005, THE LATE LATE SHOW with CRAIG FERGUSON has won critical acclaim for its unpredictable style and its host's versatility and charm. The Scottish-born actor, writer, director and producer has brought a unique approach to late night television, earning the show a Peabody Award in 2009 and its host an Emmy Award nomination in 2006. The program's signatures include an extended, unscripted monologue and guest interviews noted for their free-wheeling nature.
The LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN is broadcast weeknights (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Barbara Gaines, Matt Roberts, Jude Brennan, Maria Pope, Eric Stangel, Justin Stangel and Rob Burnett are the executive producers. THE LATE LATE SHOW with CRAIG FERGUSON is broadcast weeknights (12:37-1:37 AM, ET/PT). Peter Lassally is the executive producer; Michael Naidus is the producer.
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