Stephen Colbert ‘Only Logical Successor’ for Letterman, Leslie Moonves Says

CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves considers Stephen Colbert the “only logical successor” for David Letterman on the “Late Show.”

In an interview with “CBS This Morning,” Moonves said Colbert stood out from the sea of talent vying for the coveted seat.

“It appeared to us that he was the only logical successor to David,” he said during the taped interview that aired Friday. “And when I called Dave to ask for his blessing he said exactly the same thing. He said, ‘I can’t think of anybody even a close second.'”

And although the “Colbert Report” host will be dropping his famous pompous conservative alter ego, Moonves said Colbert will thrive in his own skin.

“Obviously the character he does on Comedy Central is going to be ending, but then he’s going to bring Stephen Colbert to the table,” Moonves said. “And we have no question that this guy is so talented that the persona of Stephen Colbert is going to work so well in late night. It’s going to be original, it’s going to be smart and it’s going to be better than what anyone else has.”

Moonves also described the comedian as “the greatest replacement for David Letterman we could ever find.”

CBS announced the anticipated news on Thursday, less than a week after Letterman revealed he’ll be retiring next year. Colbert, whose character as a conservative commentator began on “The Daily Show,” signed a five year deal with CBS.

“When two sides want something to happen — Stephen wanted this and so did we — we made it happen quickly,” the CEO said.

However, Moonves said they haven’t decided where the show will be filmed. Although it will likely stay on the East Coast, where it’s currently filmed in New York City, it’s not set in stone yet.

“We’re being wined and dined by New York, L.A., Connecticut, New Jersey,” he said. “It’s very nice to be the prettiest girl at the dance.”

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  1. Charles Hunt says:

    Sorry, Mr. Moonves. Stephen Colbert and that arched-eyebrow IS NOT the perfect replacement for Letterman. The man you should’ve hired was Jay Leno.

  2. dave says:

    Craig Ferguson had a clause in his contract whene he signed it that if he is passed over for the Late Show he gets $ 8 million. That was years ago before the announcement that Dave now wants to retire. Since the announcement Craig Ferguson was never seriuosly considered for the position. Stop trying to create controversy where ther is none Fred.

  3. Fred says:

    My Question is where’s Craig Ferguson in all of this? It seems odd and just nasty that after cbs got the Late Show with David Letterman because he was overlooked and shafted by nbc for not being Johnny Carson’s replacement, I, haven’t head word one about Ferguson’s place and feelings, even in the statement by monveses he just rants on about how lucky they are to get Colbert, you know like when they were lucky to get Katie courac. Wow what a boon to the news dept. that was.
    Steven Colbert is good at what he does and I, like him but there is a major difference in what he does now and something like the Late Show.

  4. Nick says:

    Stay in The Ed Sullivan Theater! It’s the best late night show set out there. And I bet Rupert Jee and that cast of characters who have businesses on Broadway would love Late Show to stay where it is to help bring in tourist dollars.

  5. SeanD says:

    I am potentially baffled by my choice for the next president. That is: Can a sitting president also be the host of an amazing late night show on national television. Will they need to move the show to the west wing or even the east wing? A potential decision crisis for billions and billions of american voters thus looms. And so soon after Colbert takes the helm.

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