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It’s still unclear when his replacement, Stephen Colbert, will take over the show, but Colbert is ending The Colbert Report on Dec. 18. That gives the Comedy Central star at least five months to shed his conservative character as he prepares to host The Late Show.
See more David Letterman’s Career in Pictures
“David Letterman has given to all of us a remarkable legacy of achievement and creative brilliance that will never be forgotten,” CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said in a statement. “It’s going to be tough to say goodbye, but I know we will all cherish the shows leading up to Dave’s final broadcast in May.”
Letterman will retire as the longest-tenured late-night talk show host, with more than 32 years helming NBC’s Late Night and CBS’ Late Show, roughly 22 of which were spent at CBS. He announced on his April 3 show that he planned to retire sometime in 2015. A week later, Colbert was named as his replacement, with Comedy Central announcing that The Colbert Report would end in Dec. 2014.
See more Stephen Colbert’s Career in Pictures
When he retires, Letterman will have hosted 6,028 episodes of Late Night and The Late Show, CBS said.
The Letterman-Colbert handover will be just the latest late-night transition in a tumultuous period that began with a jolt early this year when Jimmy Fallon took over for Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show, bringing that show back to New York from L.A. Seth Meyers took over for Fallon on Late Night in February. CBS’ Late Late Show will also see its hosts change, before Letterman leaves, with James Corden replacing Craig Ferguson in March. (Ferguson’s last original episode airs on Dec. 19, with guest hosts taking over the extra-late talk show before Corden’s gig begins.) Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel is staying put at ABC until at least 2017, re-upping his deal last spring.
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