‘Late’ news: Foley’s back

Director returns with first-look deal; Mendez also recants

HOLLYWOOD — Perhaps the staff of CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” got hold of a few Dr. Phil self-help books.

After a month of comings and goings on the show — and reports of strife behind the scenes at the latenight talker — things have calmed down at “Late Show.” For starters, longtime director Jerry Foley has returned to the show in his old position, but also sporting a new producer credit.

Foley departed “Late Show” earlier this month after eight years as the gabfest’s director, expressing a desire to develop a feature and helm episodic TV series (Daily Variety, April 7).

“Late Show” producer Worldwide Pants was able to secure Foley’s return by giving him a first-look development deal and scheduling flexibility to occasionally shoot other series and specials.

“We asked Jerry to reconsider his decision to leave almost as soon as he made it,” Worldwide Pants CEO and “Late Show” exec producer Rob Burnett said. “We are delighted that he relented and thrilled to have him back.”

Foley called his new arrangement with the show “a dream scenario.”

“Walking away from ‘Late Show’ and the very decent people I work with was an extremely difficult decision,” he said.

Meanwhile, cue card guy Tony Mendez — who left the show at the same time as Foley — has been back on “Late Show” for the past few weeks. Insiders said Mendez left in the heat of the moment and quickly changed his mind about parting with “Late Show.”

One insider likened the changes — and then nonchanges — at “Late Show” to the latenight arena’s “standard wackiness.”

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