If Donald Trump gets re-elected, Stephen Colbert will be there to comment on it.
CBS and the late-night comic said Thursday they had struck a contract extension that will keep the host at the helm of the network’s “Late Show” through August of 2023. Colbert’s current agreement with the network had been set to expire in August of 2020.
Colbert has done something once believed improbable – he has helped CBS usurp the longstanding natural order of late night, moving CBS’ “Late Show” into first place in terms of overall viewership and, more recently, among the viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 that Madison Avenue covets. Colbert took over “Late Show” in September of 2015 after a years-long stint by David Letterman, who launched the program for CBS.
Colbert has improved the wee-hours program’s performance by placing new emphasis on newsmakers and people in the headlines, while continuing to invite the movie and TV stars who have long formed the backbone of the guest roster for many of TV’s late-night showcases.
“Stephen Colbert is one of the most entertaining, influential and relevant voices in America today,” said David Nevins, Chief Creative Officer of CBS Corp., in a statement. “His monologue has become a vibrant part of the national discussion, and a spot on Stephen’s couch places guests from the worlds of entertainment, news and politics in front of late night’s largest and most desirable audience. We’re incredibly proud of the broadcast and thrilled to extend our relationship with Stephen for years to come.”
In the 2018-2019 season, “Late Show” enjoyed a narrow advantage over NBC’s “Tonight” in the 18-to-49 audience. The show won an average of 20,000 more viewers in the category than its NBC rival, Nielsen said, after trailing the show by 72,000 of those viewers in the previous season. Colbert’s program also captured 1.38 million viewers more than “Tonight” last season, according to Nielsen. In the previous season, “Late Show” was up over “Tonight” by 1.2 million viewers.
In addition to his roles as host, executive producer and writer at “Late Show,” Colbert will continue to serve as an executive producer on the animated Showtime satire, “Our Cartoon President,” which debuted in February 2018.