The CBS late-night show will broadcast two weeks of live shows on the East Coast during the July political conventions. Colbert and crew will hold forth without the benefit of the editing room from Monday, July 18 through Thursday July 21 for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and Monday, July 25, through Thursday, July 28, during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Colbert will be based at the show’s traditional roost, the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, where he and his guests will react to the goings-on at both political events. The program expects to have a presence at both conventions, and will unveil more details as the seminal political spectacles loom closer.
Wee-hours viewers can probably expect more programs to gravitate toward the events, which play an integral role in this year’s heated race for U.S. President. Already, Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” has indicated it will cover both events from the ground, with tapings taking place in Cleveland and Philadelphia. “As someone who knows almost nothing about how American politics works, I look forward to spending two weeks with people just like me,” said Trevor Noah, the show’s host, in a statement released when the tapings were announced in April.
Bill Maher has unveiled plans to expand his weekly HBO program, “Real Time,” with two extra editions slated to air in the weeks the conventions take place. Typically, Maher’s show appears Friday nights. There have been rumblings that Samantha Bee’s “Full Frontal” program on TBS might like to have a presence at the Republican convention. During a recent upfront presentation held by TBS parent Turner, Bee sought sponsorship dollars that would have given her the financial wherewithal to put up a sign at the Cleveland event.
Colbert’s program thrives on current events, part of the ongoing effort by producers and CBS to distinguish the show from the rest of the late-night pack. In recent days, Colbert gained notice for the way he addressed the shootings in Orlando, then moved quickly to have Fox News host Bill O’Reilly offer his take on the aftermath.
This isn’t the first time the show has broadcast live during Colbert’s tenure. The “Late Show” went live for a post-show held on CBS after the end of Super Bowl 50, and did at least one live run-through of a regular program in the weeks leading up to that event.