In the pseudo-realistic talkshow world of HBO’s satirical “The Larry Sanders Show,” the real David Letterman appeared and told the fictional Larry Sanders that he wanted Tom Snyder to host a companion latenight show.
Now comes word the bona fide Letterman camp is really pushing for Snyder to host the 12:35 a.m. companion talkshow that CBS is eyeing for September.
Sources say that Letterman and his exec producers, Peter Lassally and Robert Morton, are lobbying network honchos to put Snyder in the post-“Late Show” slot.
Letterman and his cronies have been mum on the issue, but stories began turning up in the mainstream press this week raising the issue. A New York Daily News columnist suggested the move would make perfect sense.
Letterman, whose Worldwide Pants Prods. controls the 12:35 a.m. hour on CBS, and Snyder have reportedly been good friends ever since Letterman replaced Snyder’s long-running latenight interview show on NBC in 1982.
The new latenight king even recently placed a call to Snyder during an anniversary episode of CNBC’s “Tom Snyder Show.”
There are still questions about whether CBS would agree to the move. A network spokeswoman declined to comment and all of the web’s top brass are in Norway for the Winter Olympics.
Snyder’s tenure on CNBC began in January 1993. The host signed for one year with an additional option year, which would take him to January 1995.
CNBC officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but given the state of relations between Letterman andNBC, it would appear unlikely that they would permit Snyder to leave the cable web for CBS before his deal expires.
In the “Sanders” episode last year, Snyder turned up as Larry (Garry Shandling) and fretted about who would follow his own latenight series.
When Sanders pressed Letterman for his choice, Letterman admitted that he was after Snyder, who in turn was immediately grabbed by Sanders’ network. Only when it was too late did Sanders and his producer, Artie (Rip Torn), figure out that Letterman was probably just goofing with them.
But nobody thinks that Letterman is goofing around now.
Morton is considered the likely candidate to oversee the new program, which is expected to differ from both “The Late Show” and Letterman’s NBC successor, “Late Night With Conan O’Brien.”
Whether Snyder would be able to bring his Burbank-based CNBC crew with him to CBS remains to be seen. Snyder is known to be comfortable working with veteran co-workers.
For instance, when his old colleague Joel Tator returned last year to exec produce “The KTLA Morning News,” Snyder tapped KCBS-TV’s Michael Horowicz as his new senior producer. Snyder and Horowicz worked together in New York in 1982.