The world of late night is already gearing up for a big shift with the move of Stephen Colbert from Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report to CBS’ The Late Show, succeeding David Letterman. But tonight, Craig Ferguson has announced at the taping of his show that he will be leaving his gig as host of CBS’ The Late Late Show at the end of the year.
Ferguson’s contract was set to expire at the same time as Letterman’s, and Colbert’s hiring reportedly triggered a payment to Ferguson for being passed over, pursuant to his contract. This leaves a vacant spot at 12:35e/p at the outset of 2015. Though Letterman has been vague about the timing of his exit, Ferguson’s plan to leave after the holidays might suggest that the passing of The Late Show torch will happen sooner rather than later in 2015.
Some are speculating that Chelsea Handler might be in the running for this slot, especially due to some photos posted by Handler with some CBS paperwork. The pairing of Handler and Colbert might be an odd one if the speculation proved true, but reports about Handler negotiating with Netflix for a new show might indicate that the speculation is misdirected. Whoever CBS gets to follow Colbert would most likely skew younger, the way Ferguson did when following Letterman. Among those who tested for the slot before Ferguson got it were Michael Ian Black and Aisha Tyler; those two could potentially be in the running again.