Lots of unexpected things can happen in the wee hours of the morning. But NBC is keeping at least one element constant.
The network recently renewed its contract with Seth Meyers to host “Late Night,” the post-midnight perennial that has been on the air since David Letterman launched it in 1982. The new pact calls for Meyers to continue hosting the program through 2025. It also maintains an overall deal between Sethmaker Shoemeyers Productions — the production company operated by Meyers and his executive producer, Mike Shoemaker, through the same time period.
“Seth is a rare talent who makes America laugh and think every night,” said Katie Hockmeyer, executive vice president of late night programming for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “His ‘Closer Look’ segments are classic combinations of comedy with commentary. Seth is a brilliant stand-up comedian, interviewer and political commentator. His voice matters more now than ever.”
Meyers is the fourth host to lead the show, following stints by Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon. Since starting his tenure in 2014, the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member and head writer has made the program his own, with a focus on politics and culture. Meyers has also put a spotlight on members of his writing staff, including Amber Ruffin and Jenny Hagel. Ruffin’s “The Amber Ruffin Show” streams on Peacock and will appear on two Fridays in March on NBC. Sethmaker Shoemeyers Productions produces Ruffin’s program as well as the Peacock comedy “A.P. Bio.”
Season to date, NBC says “Late Night” leads its competitors at 12:30 a.m. among viewers between 18 and 49 — the demographic most coveted by advertisers — as well as in total audience.
Announcement of the Meyers renewal follows disclosure in November that NBC had signed Jimmy Fallon to a new deal, though the parameters could not be immediately learned.
Most of TV’s late-night hosts are currently under deals that will keep them at their desks for at least another year, if not longer.
ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel is under contract through 2022. Bill Maher is under contract to host “Real Time” on HBO through the same tenure. WarnerMedia in December renewed Samantha Bee’s “Full Frontal” for a sixth season. Trevor Noah’s “Daily Show” contract with ViacomCBS lasts through 2022. James Corden is slated to stay in place at CBS’ “Late Late Show” through the end of next year. John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” is scheduled to be in place through 2023. And Stephen Colbert is under contract with CBS to host its “Late Show” through August of 2023.
The one change expected in the late-night firmament in coming months is the end of O’Brien’s’ “Conan” on TBS. O’Brien, the longest-serving of TV’s late-night array, is slated to step down from his show in June of 2021, and subsequently take up a new weekly program for HBO Max, the streaming-video service operated by the network’s parent, WarnerMedia.