'Late Show' Likely Staying in New York With Stephen Colbert

3:26 PM PST 04/10/2014 by Alex Ben Block
Bill de Blasio's Twitter account

California legislators may still amend the incentive bill to try to lure David Letterman's replacement, as the New York governor and mayor push to keep the CBS show at Manhattan's Ed Sullivan Theater.

In announcing that Stephen Colbert would take over The Late Show after David Letterman retires next year, CBS said no decision has been made on where the show will be based.

However, there is widespread speculation that Colbert, who lives and works in the New York City metro area (his residence is actually in New Jersey) and the network will keep the show in the Ed Sullivan Theater.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took to Twitter to make it clear that he hopes Colbert, like Letterman, will choose to stay in Manhattan.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement calling on CBS to keep the show in New York after Colbert takes over: “With East Coast based host Stephen Colbert taking the reins of the Late Show, it’s clear we should keep the show where it belongs – here in New York. I am calling CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves and urging that CBS continue the Late Show's history of filming in New York's own legendary Ed Sullivan Theater. Our state is a top destination for entertainment businesses to thrive and grow, creating jobs and economic opportunities for communities across the State, and late night programs are a major part of that success. We must ensure that the Late Show's long and proud history of making the nation laugh from New York continues for years to come."

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had made a very public plea for CBS to move the show west, but, busy with his first state of the city speech on Thursday, he had no immediate comment in the wake of Colbert’s hiring.

California Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), co-sponsor with Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra of legislation to expand the state’s movie and TV tax incentives, had said April 4 they would consider amending the bill to lure The Late Show and other shows now currently eligible.

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On Thursday Gatto admitted prospects the show might move have become dim: “The choice of hosts makes it more likely, based on the personal preference of the personality involved, that they will stay in New York.”

However, Gatto still sees a benefit to the discussions. He said they will still consider amending the legislation, especially as it regards a 25 percent incentive credit for shows that relocate to California from other states, that currently only covers scripted shows.

Gatto said they still “might expand the available credits for shows that didn’t fit our scripted definition previously.”

For now Gatto said they continue to welcome comments that may shape the ultimate legislation. “Every aspect of the public process of drafting a bill and trying to be thoughtful,” adds Gatto, “whether it’s something as newsworthy as Colbert taking over the show or a meeting I had last week with a visual effects worker in my district, provides good ideas and it is all part of the process for a bill as important as this.”

Under the present laws in New York, The Late Show would still not be eligible for state tax credits. And with CBS set to take ownership of the show, and already owning the theater, it’s unlikely Colbert will be packing his bags next year.

Even without credits there are other major talk shows produced in Southern California, most notably those starring Jimmy Kimmel (Hollywood), Conan O’Brien (Burbank) and Craig Ferguson (CBS Studio City).

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