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Letterman show reaches overseas

“Late Show With David Letterman” is joining the ranks of American talkshows making inroads into TV markets abroad.

CBS Enterprises and Worldwide Pants Inc., producers of the latenight gabber, have finalized deals with three broadcasters to carry the show on a five-night basis.

Seen in Germany, Oz, Mexico

“Late Show” debuted in Germany Jan. 3 on Premiere, a pay cable service, and is broadcast unscrambled at the conclusion of the primetime movie.

On Australia’s Nine Network, the show premiered Tuesday, airing in late fringe. In Mexico, which is taking a live feed, the show started Wednesday.

According to CBS Enterprises prexy Jim Warner, marketing and sales efforts are being directed at “progressive programmers who are interested in reaching young, upscale, well-educated audiences — those most likely to be in tune with David’s urbane style and sense of humor.”

He said that the hoopla surrounding Letterman’s shift from NBC to CBS last year considerably heightened international awareness of the show abroad.

‘Regular repeat viewing’ required

Warner also pointed out the importance of getting five-day-a-week agreements for Letterman internationally, suggesting that talkshow hosts are an “acquired taste” that can be developed best from “regular repeat viewing.”

Predecessor “Late Night With David Letterman” was not sold abroad when it aired on NBC.

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