Dave to try full-time sked next week

CBS making no fanfare about his return

NEW YORK — David Letterman will return to his “Late Show” full time next week, for the first time since heart bypass surgery.

While CBS is not making much fanfare about his return, the net sent out a press release Thursday listing next week’s guests — and it includes no guest hosts.

Letterman, who underwent emergency bypass surgery on Jan. 14, reappeared on “Late Show With David Letterman” on Feb. 21 to one of its highest ratings ever. Since his part-time return, a number of guest hosts, including Bill Cosby and Kathie Lee Gifford, have filled in on Letterman’s nights off.

Wait and see

Insiders said Letterman has not yet committed to return five nights a week, and that he is taking a wait-and-see approach to determine how he will fare with a full-time sked.

For the week ending March 17, rebroadcasts of “Late Show” posted a 3.3 rating/10 share in households with an average of 4 million viewers, up 32% in households and 34% in viewers compared with the same week last year.

Still, NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” won the week with an average of 5.6 million viewers and a 4.4/13 in households, while holding even in house-holds and viewers compared with the same week last year.

‘Today’ still tops

Meanwhile, in the week’s early ayem Nielsens, NBC News’ “Today” continues to be the dominant morning news program, with an average of 6.5 million viewers. ABC News’ “Good Morning America” averaged 4.8 million, while CBS’ “Early Show” trailed with 2.4 million viewers.

In household ratings, “Today” had its highest ratings in two months with a 5.5/21. “GMA” earned a 4.3/16, while “Early” equaled its all-time low with a 2.1/8.

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