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Stephen Colbert has his start date.
The Late Show will premiere Tuesday, Sept. 8, CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler announced Monday morning at the Television Critics Associations’ semiannual press tour. “With an election year ahead, it’s going to be nice to have the smartest guy in the room on at 11:30 p.m.,” she said. The news comes nine months after the April announcement that Colbert would succeed David Letterman, the network’s late-night host for the past 21 years.
See more Stephen Colbert’s Career in Pictures
The satirist said goodbye to his caricatured conservative character when he signed off last December after a decadelong stint hosting Comedy Central’s hit The Colbert Report (The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore will replace it, bowing Jan. 19). Colbert had been at the network since 1997, when he began as a correspondent for The Daily Show.
“I have nine months to make a show, just like a baby,” Colbert joked. “So first, I should find out how you make a baby.” Tassler added: “The production office is open, the premiere date is set, and we’re incredibly excited to welcome the creative and comedic genius of Stephen Colbert to CBS late night this fall.”
Between Letterman’s May 20 finale and Colbert’s fall launch, Tassler says they plan to run encore presentations of the network’s new and enduring hit shows during the late-night time slot. The network chief also acknowledged that she’s been in conversation with Letterman about special programming leading up to the veteran host’s spring signoff.
Tassler also revealed that Colbert’s team just moved into their new offices — he’ll be broadcast from the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City, which has been home to The Late Show since 1993. As far as details about the format of the show go, Tassler couldn’t reveal much except that there will be music, guests and the focus will be on current events.
“There will be parts that are traditional in some context, and then there’s things he’s going to try to do differently. Part of the opportunity of being in business with a brilliant talent like Stephen Colbert is really letting him do what he wants to do,” said Tassler. “We’re sitting back and waiting for him to come to us to say what he has in mind. He’s a real student of the media and knows the format more than anybody else.”
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