David Letterman to Host Netflix Interview Series

David Letterman
Russo/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

David Letterman is returning to a regular TV gig, setting a deal with Netflix for a show that will combine long-form interviews with reports from the field.

Netflix has ordered six episodes of the hourlong series, to be produced by New York-based RadicalMedia and Letterman’s Worldwide Pants banner. The untitled show is targeted to debut next year.

Netflix’s announcement said the show would feature “in-depth conversations with extraordinary people, and in-the-field segments expressing his curiosity and humor.” It’s understood that production is set to begin in the fall and that some of the interviews may be filmed in front of an audience.

“I feel excited and lucky to be working on this project for Netflix,” Letterman said. “Here’s what I have learned, if you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first. Thanks for watching, drive safely.”

Letterman, 70, has mostly been off the screen in the two years since he signed off of CBS’ “The Late Show” in May 2015. He ended a storied 33-year run in late-night TV that began with his 1982-1993 residency on NBC’s “Late Night.” Last year, Letterman toplined a well-received episode of National Geographic Channel’s “Years of Living Dangerously” series in which he traveled to India to examine the real-world impact of climate change.

Letterman’s post-“Late Show” career plans have been the subject of much speculation. The deal with Netflix indicates that Letterman, who now sports a ZZ Top-length beard, will not be staying in full-retirement mode in the same way that his TV mentor Johnny Carson did after bowing out of NBC’s “Tonight Show” in 1992 after 31 years.

For Netflix, a deal with Letterman adds another marquee name to the service, and it adds a newsmagazine-like offering to the streamer’s unscripted roster.

“Just meeting David Letterman was a thrill; imagine how exciting it is for me to announce that we will be working together,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer. “David Letterman is a true television icon, and I can’t wait to see him out in the wild, out from behind the desk and interviewing the people he finds most interesting. We’ll have to see if he keeps the beard.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 22

Leave a Reply

22 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. nullhogarth says:

    The only problem I see is that Dave isn’t a particularly good interviewer.

    • cadavra says:

      He’s a brilliant interviewer when he has someone worth talking to. I recall one night he and Scorsese yakked for nearly 15 minutes about classic movies; it was absolutely riveting.

  2. JAllen says:

    First guest should be Bill Murray!!!

  3. cc says:

    I will be sure to miss it, nothing about the leftist swine is entertaining never was still not.

  4. John Miller says:

    Dave – Out of His Cave. There! I just gave the show its title.

  5. Luckigirl says:

    I can’t wait to see David Letterman’s new show!

  6. Urs says:

    Oh great, more of Letterman’s never-ending ManoPause. In case you were missing it.

  7. CHRIS ILLER says:

    I remember him doing something like sounds like one of his early HBO specials (back before Late Night), where he went around Coney Island and pointed out absurdities. Freaking hilarious. I wish I could find a video of that special. But at least now he’s going out of the studio again. Looking forward to this…without or without the beard.

  8. Jeffrey Clemmons says:

    Welcome back, David! Your honest, unapologetic humor and interview style are needed now more than ever.

  9. David is a talented man and I am so glad he is getting another show. On my wish list, I would love to see him change his mind about the beard. It makes him look too old and just is a distraction.

  10. That will be great, I hope he loses the beard though, to me it’s distracting and not very attractive.

  11. Beverly says:

    Made my day, week & year. I can’t wait to hear Dave’s razor sharpe wit & take on today’s events, especially of the political nature!!
    He’s a national treasure, welcome back Dave!!

  12. GO FOR TWO SPORTS says:

    He’s not a very good interviewer. In fact Howard Stern is 10000000 times better at doing interviews. Netflix should of paid Howard the money to air his interviews with these celebrities. He’s been nailing them lately and you get REAL interviews non staged interviews where the celebs actually say stuff that they would never say to Letterman. Plus the bands Howard gets on to do performances and interviews are great. Look no further than the ones he did with Metallica and Green Day.

    • bliz says:

      howard stern has become a phony hack “celebitaunt” in the last decade….guy isnt provocative and has the most uninteresting people on his show…most “comedians comedians” all think he has declined and is tool for the establishment…..hes also fairly uneducated on most topics and issues and asks the lowest common denominator questions, nor does he discuss issues of the world in depth…..letterman, maron, rogan, cumia, bennington, ferguson, conan, rose, stewart, maher, colbert, and macdonald allllll have way better, more interesting interviews and guests on than howard “stale one trick pony” stern

    • David Zanders says:

      I agree 1000%. Howard Stern is by far the best in the business. I’d buy Netflix or any other streaming service just to see his interviews.

      • bliz says:

        ….far best in the business in the 1990s/ early 2000s…..has become an empty shell of a pathetic hack now though…

  13. DAVID SHEEHAN says:

    Big mistake!

  14. Je Vizzusi says:

    That Indiana fake hobo beard is insulting. He can’t interview out of a paper bag. He needed to study jack parr and dick cavett. Truthfully he is a bad interviewer. A prankster, jokester but seriously? This will last a week.. he actually said Monty has no personality.. for TCM fans that is the world’s worst comment on Montgomery Cliff in movie history. Watch him and Baldwin go at it.. like interviewing ice.

  15. Cath says:

    This made my day.

  16. Looking forward to Letterman’s wit, insights, perspective & pulse on our current political climate!

More TV News from Variety

Loading