He would be doing the show straight rather than in character as he does on his satirical Comedy Central show, but his overall manic comic sensibility could work well in latenight. Plus, his Comedy Central contract ends in late 2014, and he’s probably milked the “Colbert Report” conceit for all it’s worth.
O’Brien took over “Late Night” when Letterman left in 1993, but he seems like a long shot to succeed Dave this time. If he couldn’t succeed on “The Tonight Show,” what would make CBS think his not-so-mainstream comedy bits could do it for them? The contract on O’Brien’s TBS show expires in November 2015.
CBS may choose to stay in house with “Late Late Show” host Ferguson, whose 10-year contract expires this year. If Letterman has a say in its successor, the job could go to the Scottish-born Ferguson, whose show is produced by Letterman’s Worldwide Pants.
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ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel said in a <a href=”http://www.tvguide.com/news/biz-jimmy-kimmel-1079081.aspx”>TV Guide</a> interview that he’d consider a jump to CBS to replace Letterman. “Getting a call from Dave would be big for me,” he said. But Kimmel’s goofy, big-city appeal is probably too niche for the very mainstream CBS audience.
Well, he’s got experience and he’s available … but Leno and Letterman have history. And it’s hard to see Leno want to go up against Fallon.
Among Jon Stewart’s biggest fans: David Letterman, who signed Stewart to his production company Worldwide Pants. Stewart’s contract at Comedy Central is up in 2015. He’s received mixed reviews for hosting the Academy Awards in 2006 and 2008, but then again so did Letterman in his only turn in 1995.
Chelsea Handler’s reps have already said she will leave E! after eight years on the air. She’s great at interviews and is one of the few women who might be considered, but would her edgy attitude translate to a traditional latenight show?
Neil Patrick Harris
He’s an acclaimed Tony host and a CBS veteran coming off “HIMYM,” but his last gig hosting the Emmys was critically panned. However, his song and dance skills give him footing on par with Jimmy Fallon. Plus, he’s looked comfortable chatting with celebs as guest host alongside Kelly Ripa on “Live!” over the years. But would he give up a successful acting career?
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Her latenight Fox talkshow was canceled in less than a year, but she was a CBS fave for several years as sidekick to Julia Louis-Dreyfus on “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”
Louis CK’s FX show “Louie” did an episode arc in which his character replaced Letterman. Life imitates art all the time!
Hall returned to latenight in 2013 with the syndicated “Arsenio Hall Show,” so would he even want to start over anew somewhere else? He’s also been renewed for a second season.
He’s appeared on Fox (“American Idol”), ABC (“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve”) and NBC (“Million Second Quiz”) in recent months, so why not CBS? He would seem a natural, but he’s already juggling “Idol,” his E! duties and his Los Angeles radio show.
W. Kamau Bell
The standup comic brought a new kind of energy on FX’s “Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell,” but auds didn’t follow him to his weeknight gig on spinoff net FXX.