April 11, 2014 5:29am PT by Hilary Lewis
Les Moonves Says Colbert Was His and Letterman's Top Choice (Video)
CBS CEO Les Moonves says Stephen Colbert was his top choice to replace David Letterman -- and the outgoing host agreed.
"It appeared to us that he was the only logical successor to David," the executive said in a taped interview that aired on Friday's CBS This Morning. "And when I called Dave to ask for his blessing he said exactly the same thing. He said, 'I can't think of anybody even a close second.' "
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CBS' Colbert announcement came less than a week after Letterman revealed he's retiring in 2015, but Moonves said they worked fast.
"Stephen wanted this and so did we. We made it happen quickly," he told CBS.
Colbert remained the top choice even as CBS "got a lot of calls from agents and managers" for other talent.
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Now, Moonves is being courted by multiple cities, including New York and L.A., to tape the Late Show in their area, and while the show is likely to stay in New York, Moonves said he likes all of the attention he's getting now.
"We're being wined and dined by New York, L.A., Connecticut, New Jersey. It's very nice to be the prettiest girl at the dance," the CEO said.
Moonves also revealed how Colbert reacted when Moonves told him he would be Letterman's successor: "He kept thanking me for the opportunity and telling me he wouldn't let me down."
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And Moonves already isn't worried about how Colbert, who's said he won't do the Late Show as his conservative character, will be as himself.
"You know, Stephen is so multitalented," Moonves said. "He's good at improv; he's good at interviewing; he's good at serious comedy."
Watch CBS' full interview with Moonves below, including parts that didn't make the morning show.