Latenight host speaks at TCA

Craig Ferguson said he has no great desire to move to 11:30 p.m. and eventually replace David Letterman but can see himself in the latenight genre for years to come.

Speaking at an informal press conference at TCA, Ferguson said, “I don’t have the ambition to be in that timeslot” now occupied by his boss — “The Late Late Show” is owned by Letterman’s Worldwide Pants — but joked that he’s more than happy to see his coffers filled by CBS for the job he’s doing now and in the near future.

“I don’t want to be poor but, then again, I don’t want to be rich just to the extent of having to keep my job,” he said.

Ferguson said he watched a few episodes of “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” when the former “Saturday Night Live” performer moved to the 12:30 a.m. slot in March and doesn’t believe there’s much of a ratings war between them — despite a barrage of emails from their respective networks to the contrary.

“I look at those numbers but I don’t understand them,” said Ferguson, whose autobiography comes out Sept. 22. “Everything is 18-34 or 18-49. Does that mean anything after 49 doesn’t matter?”

Fallon is ahead in the latter ad-friendly demo, but Ferguson pulls in more total viewers, which is typical for Eye programming.

Ferguson, who often speaks off the cuff on “Late Late Show” and on subjects that resonate emotionally with him — much to his fans’ delight — said the latenight genre could use a tweak.

“The format is tired and old. I’m another middle-aged white guy telling jokes in a suit,” he said. “I want to mess with that.”

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