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Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
is an American late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman
David Letterman
on CBS, the first iteration of the Late Show franchise. The show debuted on August 30, 1993,[2] and was produced by Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants Incorporated and CBS Television Studios. The show's music director and leader of the house band, the CBS
CBS
Orchestra, was Paul Shaffer. The head writer was Matt Roberts and the announcer was originally Bill Wendell, then Alan Kalter. Of the major U.S. late-night programs, Late Show ranked second in cumulative average viewers over time and third in number of episodes over time.[citation needed] In most U.S. markets the show aired from 11:35 p.m. to 12:37 a.m. Eastern and Pacific Time, and recorded Monday through Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m., and Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The second Thursday episode usually aired on Friday of that week.[3] In 2002, Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
was ranked No. 7 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.[4] As host of both Late Night and Late Show for more than 30 years, Letterman surpassed Johnny Carson as the longest running late-night talk show host in 2013.[5] That same year, Late Night and Late Show were ranked at #41 on TV Guide's 60 Best Series of All Time.[6] In 2014, Letterman announced his retirement and the final episode of Late Show aired on May 20, 2015.[7] After Letterman's final Late Show, instead of airing reruns of the show or having guest host episodes of Late Show, CBS
CBS
opted to put the show on hiatus in between Letterman and Colbert and instead aired reruns of scripted dramas in the 11:35 pm time slot over the summer with the branding CBS
CBS
Summer Showcase.[8] The show was then succeeded by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, hosted by Stephen Colbert, which premiered on September 8, 2015.[9]

Contents

1 History 2 Staff 3 Production

3.1 Studio and set design 3.2 Same-day tapings 3.3 Episode structure 3.4 Regular sketches 3.5 High-definition broadcasts

4 Notable episodes

4.1 Most 'Late Show' appearances

5 Guest hosts 6 Awards

6.1 Primetime Emmy

7 Ratings and revenue 8 See also 9 References 10 External links

History[edit] CBS
CBS
had previously attempted late-night talk shows with The Merv Griffin Show (1969–1972) and The Pat Sajak Show
The Pat Sajak Show
(1989–1990), but these were unable to compete with NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson
and were canceled due to poor ratings. For most of the 20 years preceding Late Show, CBS's late night fare consisted of movies, reruns and specialty programming packaged under the title CBS Late Night and broadcast to middling ratings. When David Letterman became available following a conflict with NBC, CBS
CBS
was eager to lure him and offered him a three-year, $14 million per year contract,[10] doubling his Late Night salary. According to their agreement, the show would spend a month in Hollywood at least once a year.[11] CBS
CBS
purchased the Ed Sullivan Theater
Ed Sullivan Theater
for $4 million, spending "several million" to renovate it.[11] The renovation was supervised by architect James Polshek.[11] CBS' total cost for acquiring the show including renovations, negotiation rights paid to NBC, signing Letterman, announcer Bill Wendell, Shaffer, the writers and the band was over $140 million.[12] A significant issue regarding Letterman's move to CBS
CBS
was the ownership of long-running comedy bits used on Late Night, as well as the name of the CBS
CBS
show itself. NBC
NBC
claimed that much of what he did on Late Night was intellectual property of the network. Letterman and his attorneys countered that some segments ("Viewer Mail" and "Stupid Pet Tricks," for example) pre-dated Late Night and had first aired on The David Letterman
David Letterman
Show, which was owned by Letterman's production company rather than NBC, and others, such as the Top Ten List, were common property and not owned by either Letterman or NBC.[13] Ultimately a compromise was reached in key areas: the "Viewer Mail" segment would be called the " CBS
CBS
Mailbag"; the actor portraying Larry "Bud" Melman on Late Night would use his real name, Calvert DeForest, on the CBS
CBS
show; and Paul Shaffer's "World's Most Dangerous Band" would become the " CBS
CBS
Orchestra". NBC
NBC
gave Letterman the choice of at least two options to name his new show, Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
or Nightly with David Letterman. On this matter CBS
CBS
executives stepped in, rejecting Nightly in part because of potential confusion with Nightline
Nightline
on ABC. Thus, Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
quickly became the official title. After Letterman was introduced on Late Show's very first episode, NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw
Tom Brokaw
accompanied him on stage and wished him "reasonably well". As part of a pre-arranged act, Brokaw then proceeded to retrieve a pair of cue cards while stating that "These last two jokes are the intellectual property of NBC!" After he carried them off stage, Letterman responded, "Who would have thought you would ever hear the words 'intellectual property' and 'NBC' in the same sentence?" In his opening monologue, Letterman said "Legally, I can continue to call myself Dave"[14] but joked that he woke up that morning and next to him in bed was the head of a peacock (while the orchestra played the theme from The Godfather).[15] In ratings, Letterman's Late Show dominated Jay Leno's Tonight Show for its first two years. Leno pulled ahead on July 10, 1995, starting with a Hugh Grant
Hugh Grant
interview, after Grant's much-publicized arrest for picking up a Los Angeles
Los Angeles
prostitute.[16] Leno also benefited from the lead-in provided by NBC's popular Must See TV
Must See TV
prime time programs of the mid-to-late 1990s. Likewise, the CBS
CBS
network was hindered by a weak prime time lineup, along with several large- and major-market network affiliation switches in late 1994 relating to Fox's acquisition of CBS's National Football League
National Football League
rights, stunting the Late Show just as it was beginning to gain traction. Announcer Bill Wendell
Bill Wendell
retired in 1995,[17] with Alan Kalter taking his place. At times Late Show even came in third in its time slot (behind Nightline, most recently in November 2008), once prompting Letterman to arrange for a Manhattan
Manhattan
billboard proudly declaring himself and his show to be No. 3 in Late Night, aping an older, nearby billboard which promoted Leno and The Tonight Show as No. 1. Letterman attempted to respond by making his show more political, aping the approach taken by The Daily Show
The Daily Show
under Jon Stewart.[18] On June 1, 2009, Conan O'Brien
Conan O'Brien
(who had succeeded Letterman as host of Late Night in 1993) took over as host of The Tonight Show—an event Letterman referenced in his own show's Top Ten List on that night—and Letterman's "feud" with Leno temporarily ceased. In 2008 Letterman told Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
that he would welcome Leno on his show once Leno's tenure ended.[19] Letterman said on competing with O'Brien, "I still find it hard to believe that Jay won’t be there."[19] The interview was held prior to Leno announcing his return to NBC
NBC
for The Jay Leno
Jay Leno
Show.[19] In the second week after Letterman and O'Brien began their opposing broadcasts, viewer ratings for Tonight began to slip and Late Show was poised to beat Tonight for the first time in over ten years,[19][20] a fact pointed out by Letterman's guests on air ( Howard Stern
Howard Stern
and Julia Roberts).[20][21] Letterman quickly tried to change the subject in the interviews and tried to avert a new rivalry.[20][21] In fact, the June 9, 2009 episode of Late Show featuring Roberts rated better than Tonight with a 3.4 household rating nationally to O'Brien's 2.9.[20][22] The Letterman/Leno feud was revived in the wake of the 2010 Tonight Show conflict, which saw Letterman side with O'Brien.[23] Despite the rivalry, Leno appeared in a Late Show promo with Letterman and Oprah Winfrey which aired on CBS
CBS
during Super Bowl XLIV; it was Leno and Letterman's first joint appearance since Leno took over the Tonight Show in 1992. The feud between the hosts ended for good on February 6, 2014 with Leno's second and final retirement and Late Night host Jimmy Fallon, who succeeded Conan O'Brien
Conan O'Brien
in 2009, becoming the current host of the Tonight Show on February 17, with its subsequent return to New York for the first time since 1972. On April 3, 2012, CBS
CBS
reached an agreement with Worldwide Pants and CBS Television Studios
CBS Television Studios
to continue the show through 2014. The parties reached another agreement in October 2013 to extend the show an additional year, continuing the series into 2015.[24] Including his 11 years on NBC, Letterman is the longest tenured late-night talk show host, having surpassed Johnny Carson.[5] On April 10, 2014, one week after Letterman announced that he would retire as host of Late Show in 2015, CBS
CBS
announced that his successor as the host of the program would be Stephen Colbert, then host of competing late-night series The Colbert Report
The Colbert Report
on Comedy Central.[25] Staff[edit] Announcer Bill Wendell
Bill Wendell
retired and left the show on August 18, 1995.[26] He was replaced by Alan Kalter on the show's next episode, September 5, 1995, which came after a two-week hiatus. In 1996, long-time producer Robert Morton left and head writer Rob Burnett was promoted to executive producer. In 1997, Justin Stangel and Eric Stangel were hired as writers;[27] by March 2000, the Stangel brothers became the show's head writers, taking over the job held by Rodney Rothman.[27][28] Director Hal Gurnee and producer Peter Lassally
Peter Lassally
left the show soon after to pursue other interests. Gurnee was replaced by Jerry Foley. Burnett was absent from the day-to-day operations from 2000 to 2004, and was replaced by Barbara Gaines and Maria Pope, both of whom served as executive producers, with Gaines acting as on-air producer.[citation needed] In 2003, producer Jude Brennan was added to the team of executive producers.[29] Lassally, who had served as an executive producer for Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson
on The Tonight Show, was invited back to Late Show in January 2005 as a guest to discuss the recent death of Carson. Lassally served as executive producer for Worldwide Pants' The Late Late Show from late 1994 to February 2015, encompassing the tenures of hosts Tom Snyder, Craig Kilborn and Craig Ferguson. Lassally also served as Executive Producer of the Tony Mendez Show, an online webcast featuring Late Show's one-time "cue card boy". Matt Roberts, a long-time writer and producer for the show, became the show's head writer in January 2013, replacing brothers and co-head writers Justin Stangel and Eric Stangel.[28][30] Sheila Rogers, the producer responsible for booking guests on the show, worked for Letterman since before Late Show began.[31] Production[edit] Studio and set design[edit]

Letterman interviewing Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama
in 2012

The show was taped at the Ed Sullivan Theater
Ed Sullivan Theater
at the corner of Broadway and 53rd Street
53rd Street
in midtown Manhattan
Manhattan
since its inception. Formerly called CBS
CBS
Studio 50, it had been home to several TV programs over the years, most notably The Ed Sullivan Show. Letterman made use of the immediate neighborhood surrounding the theater for his show on occasion, closing off the portion of 53rd Street
53rd Street
that goes past his studio for various stunts. Nearby merchants gained fame after making frequent appearances on the program, including Rupert Jee, owner of the Hello Deli
Hello Deli
at 213 W. 53rd St., and Mujibur and Sirajul, Bengali immigrants who worked at a souvenir shop close to the studio. The stage layout followed the same basic structure Letterman employed on Late Night: the house band appeared on the far left, followed by the performance area and then the interview set. In May 2015, days before Letterman retired, Seth Stevenson
Seth Stevenson
described what it was like to attend a taping of Late Show:

It felt almost regal to enter the Ed Sullivan Theater
Ed Sullivan Theater
beneath a lit marquee on 53rd and Broadway instead of through some unmarked, dented metal door on an industrial block of Hell's Kitchen. The theater for Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
seats 450 people instead of 100, and its rococo balcony offers a glorious vista over the sprawling stage where the Beatles first performed in America. Instead of bathing us in washed-out, piped-in music, or a half-hearted pop quintet, Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra rocked us with a wall of sound, including a horn section that blasted riffs clear to the theater rafters... It was hard not to sit in that Late Show studio audience and feel—for the first time—indispensable. Letterman puts on a show. He presents fully-rounded entertainment, and he feeds off the energy in the room. This is a big, brassy venue with a live orchestra, instead of a cramped black-box studio with somebody's iPod plugged into ceiling speakers. And Letterman needed us there.[32]

Pieces of the set now belong to The Chris Gethard Show.[33][34] Same-day tapings[edit] When Letterman was not on vacation (which he took roughly ten weeks per year[35]), he and his crew worked four days per week, taping Friday's show earlier in the week.[3] From October 2001 until May 2004, Friday's show was taped on Thursdays. From 2004 to 2010, Friday's show was taped on Mondays.[3] During this time, the Friday's show's monologue topics, sketches, and other segments were chosen for their lack of topicality, with few if any references to current events or any subject which would run the risk of seeming dated. However, in late 2011 Late Show reverted to the practice of taping the Friday show on Thursdays, helping the Friday shows become more topical and relevant. Episode structure[edit]

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The show's opening credits featured a series of shots of New York City as the CBS Orchestra performed the Late Show theme (a livelier variation of the more jazzy Late Night theme). The announcer presented the names of that night's guests, as well as Paul Shaffer
Paul Shaffer
and the CBS Orchestra, then introduced Letterman. On rare episodes, the show began with a cold open as Letterman, dressed casually, briefly interacted with a celebrity or performed a short sketch backstage before the traditional opening sequence began. In the last few years, Alan Kalter included himself in the introduction. In addition, Letterman took to dashing across the stage either just before, while, or just after Kalter introduced him. In years prior, Letterman would be greeted by two female models, sometimes in costume. For an extended stretch of episodes, one of the models would be performing with several hula hoops, while the other would be wearing a metal suit and operating a grinding machine against her abdomen, a carry-over from their first appearance on the sketch, "Is This Anything?" Letterman would then walk out on the show stage to perform his stand-up monologue, which occasionally began with a reference to something an audience member said to him during the pre-show question-and-answer session. The jokes were based on pop culture, current events, and politics. He then introduced one or two video jokes such as a running gag or fake commercial/public service announcement. The monologue was followed by Letterman's introduction of Shaffer and the CBS
CBS
Orchestra. Beginning in 2009, a commercial break replaced Letterman's trademark 'crossing to the desk', which he had done since the early years. Letterman then chatted with the audience and Shaffer, sometimes relating an anecdote from his personal life, sometimes discussing his anticipation of a particular guest; a running gag may have been featured. In 2005, after the death of Johnny Carson, it was revealed that Carson had made a habit of sometimes sending jokes to Letterman which Letterman would then incorporate into his monologues. The January 31, 2005, episode of the Late Show, which featured a tribute to Carson, began with a monologue made up entirely of jokes written by Carson since his retirement.[36][37] Letterman read the Top Ten List at this point before turning to guest interviews with a celebrity, politician, or other public figure. On most episodes, the first guest stayed on through the commercial break and continued the interview. Following the first guest was a short segment to bridge two commercial breaks sequentially. In earlier episodes, Letterman would return to his running gag during this break, or retry a failed stunt from earlier in the show. Later episodes included a brief comedy announcement from announcer Alan Kalter while showing the audience cheering. The final segment consisted of a live musical performance, a comedian performing a stand-up routine, or another guest interview. Musical guests included artists from David Bowie, U2, Neil Young, Coldplay
Coldplay
to indie bands like Grizzly Bear, Gorillaz, MENEW, and Vocaloid
Vocaloid
Hatsune Miku. The CBS Orchestra frequently accompanied musical guests in performing their songs. Episodes occasionally concluded with Letterman recommending viewers stay tuned for Tom Snyder, Craig Kilborn, Craig Ferguson (James Corden in 2015), but usually he simply waved to the camera, saying, "Good night everybody!" In the latter part of the run, the admonishment to watch Craig Ferguson
Craig Ferguson
and James Corden was delivered by Alan Kalter, via voiceover. Regular sketches[edit] Main article: List of David Letterman
David Letterman
sketches Late Show had various repeated absurdist segments, including those involving cast members' and audience participation. The show will also take a camera crew into the Hello Deli
Hello Deli
to show games such as "What's on the iPod?" and "Beat the Clock," or onto 53rd Street
53rd Street
or the roof to record various stunts there. High-definition broadcasts[edit] The show began broadcasting in high-definition television (HDTV) on August 29, 2005.[38] About two weeks later, Tim Kennedy, the show's Technical Director, commented on the transition in the show's official newsletter:

The biggest challenge in the HD conversion was to renovate and upgrade our old control room, audio room, videotape room, and edit room while still doing five shows a week. ... This entailed putting a remote production truck on 53rd Street
53rd Street
running somewhere in the neighborhood of 50,000 feet of video and audio cable just to tie the truck to the existing technical plant ... The coolest piece of equipment is our new control room Virtual Wall. We have done away with the conventional monitor for every video source and replaced it with four 70-inch rear projection screens and within those screens we can "virtually" place as many video images as we want, anywhere we want them, and when we want it.[citation needed]

Kennedy and his crew won an Emmy Award
Emmy Award
for "Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video for a Series" during the nearly four-month-long transition to HDTV. Notable episodes[edit] Main article: List of David Letterman
David Letterman
episodes The guests with the most appearances were Regis Philbin
Regis Philbin
(150 appearances), Marv Albert
Marv Albert
(126 appearances, 73 from Late Night[39]), and Jack Hanna
Jack Hanna
(102). Among the show's highlights:[40]

The August 30, 1993 premiere, which attracted 23 million viewers, where Bill Murray
Bill Murray
was the show's first guest, and Billy Joel
Billy Joel
was the show's first musical act; The March 31, 1994 episode featuring Madonna; An April 12, 1995 visit from Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore
during which she "jump[ed] on his desk and flash[ed] her breasts" in a "birthday gift he'll never forget";[40] The December 31, 1999 episode, airing in prime-time.[40] The episodes airing the week of February 21, 2000, which began with Letterman's return to the air after his quintuple bypass surgery, with Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby
hosting the show of February 22, as the show's first ever substitute host, and Regis Philbin
Regis Philbin
hosting on February 24.[41] His return to the airwaves on September 17, 2001 following the September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks
in a show that featured Dan Rather, Regis Philbin, The Boys' Choir of Harlem, and Odetta—it was "hailed by the New York Daily News
New York Daily News
as 'one of the purest, most honest and important moments in TV history'." January 31, 2005 was Letterman's first show after his long-time friend and mentor Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson
had died. His monologue that night consisted entirely of jokes written by Carson. Carson had died on January 23, but Letterman's show was in reruns at the time.[42] March 20, 2007: due to illness, Letterman could not host and Adam Sandler took over as guest host.[43] January 2, 2008 was the first night the Late Show returned to air after the 2007 WGA strike began. Due to a compromise worked out between Worldwide Pants and WGA, Late Show was allowed to continue with writers on the job until the strike ended in February 2008. In 2008, John McCain
John McCain
was originally scheduled to be the guest on the show but cancelled at the last minute, supposedly to deal with the economic crisis. However, it was revealed during the show that while the show was being taped, McCain was actually doing an interview with Katie Couric
Katie Couric
for CBS
CBS
News. McCain's last-minute replacement was Keith Olbermann. Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
appeared as a guest on July 15, 2009, in the same theater where The Beatles
The Beatles
made their U.S. television debut in 1964. McCartney later performed "Get Back" on top of the theater's marquee, emulating The Beatles' rooftop concert
The Beatles' rooftop concert
of 1969.[44] On October 1, 2009, he revealed that he had been the target of an extortion attempt. On October 29, 2012, the show was taped without an audience due to Hurricane Sandy, which prompted the Late Show staff to send the audience home for safety reasons.[45] On April 3, 2014, Letterman announced his retirement from the Late Show. April 22, 2014, Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert
makes his first appearance on the Late Show since being unveiled as Letterman's successor. On July 21, 2014, the CBS Orchestra did a rousing live performance of "MacArthur Park." Identified on piano was the song's composer, the legendary Jimmy Webb. On August 18, 2014, in his first new show since the death of Robin Williams, Letterman paid tribute to the comedian, whom he had known dating back to their days at The Comedy Store
The Comedy Store
in Los Angeles. "I had no idea that the man was in pain, that the man was suffering," Letterman said of Williams, who committed suicide. A montage of clips aired featuring Williams' multiple appearances on the Late Show, as well as an episode of Mork & Mindy in which Letterman was a guest star.[46] The tribute was the week's most watched late night talk show video, receiving over 3.3 million views online.[47] The May 20, 2015 series finale, which ran 17 minutes over time and had 13.7 million viewers, was introduced by archival footage of President Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
and pre-recorded cameos of former Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and incumbent Barack Obama
Barack Obama
all saying, "our long national nightmare is over." Ten celebrities participated in the Top Ten List of "Things I've Always Wanted to say to Dave", namely, in order of appearance, Alec Baldwin, Barbara Walters, Steve Martin, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Peyton Manning, Tina Fey, and Bill Murray. Letterman thanked his wife Regina and son Harry, both of whom were in the audience, his mother, viewers, the show's staff, and Paul Shaffer
Paul Shaffer
and the band, and also wished good luck to his successor, Stephen Colbert. The show included highlights from The David Letterman
David Letterman
Show and Late Night with David Letterman
David Letterman
as well as the Late Show, featured clips of Letterman's bits with children, a performance by the Foo Fighters playing Letterman's favorite song, "Everlong," and ended with a shot of his son, Harry, skiing.[48][49][50]

Most 'Late Show' appearances[edit] The person who appeared the most on the 'Late Show' was media personality Regis Philbin, with 150 total appearances over the show's 22-season run (as of May 20, 2015). Second most appeared person was Jack Hanna
Jack Hanna
with 103, Tony Randall
Tony Randall
with 70, Marv Albert
Marv Albert
with 52, and Tom Brokaw
Tom Brokaw
49 appearances. Darlene Love
Darlene Love
appeared with a musical number 21 times, specifically performing the song "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" 19 times (18 live plus one video clip) on every year's last episode before Christmas. This continued a tradition that started in 1986 on Letterman's NBC
NBC
show Late Night with David Letterman, performing the song as Letterman's Christmas finale 28 times across his Late Show... and Late Night.. run.[51] Love's final Christmas appearance was on December 19, 2014, nine days after the official announcement that the show's finale would be in May 2015.[52] Letterman has stated that the annual performance is his favorite part of Christmas. Due to the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike, Love was unable to perform on the Letterman show in 2007;[53] a repeat of her 2006 performance was shown instead. Love was also the musical guest on May 7, 2007, performing "River Deep-Mountain High", while also appearing as a background choral singer on October 15, 2008. Love had a 22nd appearance, appearing as an interview guest on June 12, 2013 to talk about the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom. Guest hosts[edit] In 2000, after Letterman had quintuple bypass surgery, the Late Show Backstage was aired. This featured many celebrities reminiscing about their experiences as guests on his show. Charles Grodin
Charles Grodin
(February 7), Regis Philbin
Regis Philbin
(February 8 & 10), Bandleader Paul Shaffer
Paul Shaffer
(February 9 & 11), Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore
(February 14), David Brenner
David Brenner
(February 15), Tom Snyder
Tom Snyder
(February 16 & 17) and Tom Arnold (February 18) were among those who hosted. These interviews were interspersed with past footage. Previously, only reruns without any special introductions had been aired since Letterman's temporary leave from the show began on January 15.[54] Letterman returned on a limited basis on February 18, in a show which premiered three days later. To help ease the transition, guests hosts were temporarily installed. Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby
(February 22), Kathie Lee Gifford (February 23), David Brenner
David Brenner
(February 29), Nathan Lane
Nathan Lane
(March 2), Janeane Garofalo
Janeane Garofalo
(March 7).[55][56] filled in on the first week.[57] In February and March 2003, Letterman missed 14 shows due to shingles. Letterman had the following guests hosts over that time. Bruce Willis (February 26), John McEnroe
John McEnroe
(February 27), Regis Philbin
Regis Philbin
(February 28), Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg
(March 10), Vince Vaughn
Vince Vaughn
(March 11), Elvis Costello (March 12), Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell
(March 13), Megan Mullally
Megan Mullally
(March 14), Brad Garrett
Brad Garrett
(March 17), Tom Dreesen (March 18), Bonnie Hunt (March 19), Paul Shaffer
Paul Shaffer
(March 24), Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby
(March 25) and Luke Wilson (March 26).[58] In June 2003, Letterman had guest hosts on Fridays. They included Tom Arnold (June 6), Tom Green
Tom Green
(June 13), Kelsey Grammer
Kelsey Grammer
(June 20), Jimmy Fallon (June 27).[59][60] The ratings separating Letterman and Leno increased and Letterman ended this experiment a month after it began.[59] On March 20, 2007, Dave fell ill less than an hour before the show started, and scheduled guest Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler
took his place. Actor Don Cheadle, Sandler's co-star in the film Reign Over Me, appeared as a guest on a moment's notice.[61] Awards[edit] Primetime Emmy[edit] Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
was nominated as Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series for 16 seasons in a row, from the 1993–94 season through the 2008–09 season. Including the nominations for its NBC
NBC
Late Night predecessor, the Letterman cast and crew had been nominated 26 consecutive times in this category.[62] Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
won the award six times:

1993–94 winner Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series 1997–98 winner Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series 1998–99 winner Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series 1999–00 winner Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series 2000–01 winner Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series 2001–02 winner Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series

Ratings and revenue[edit] The show's highest rated episode was on February 23, 1994, after the 1994 Winter Olympics
1994 Winter Olympics
(78.8 million) with 15 million viewers. Its second highest rated show aired two days later and had 11.1 million viewers. Both were preceded by the ladies' figure skating competition which had high interest due to the attack on Nancy Kerrigan
Nancy Kerrigan
at the 1994 United States Figure Skating Championships by Tonya Harding's ex-husband, and both women competing in the event. In February 2013, TV by the Numbers
TV by the Numbers
reported Late Show averaged about 3.1 million per show in season-to-date live-plus-seven-day ratings.[63] A year later, average viewership was down to 2.8 million.[64] In 2009, the show led other late night shows in ad revenue with $271 million.[65] In February 2014, Advertising Age cited Kantar Media and Nielsen in reporting that for January to October 2013, Late Show attracted $179.6 million in advertising for CBS, higher than its seven late-night competitors on NBC, ABC, Comedy Central, and E!.[64] Late Show also had the oldest median audience among those same peers,[64] at 58.9. The final episode of The Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
on May 20, 2015, was watched by 13.76 million viewers with an audience share of 9.3/24, earning the show its highest ratings since following the 1994 Olympics on February 25, 1994 and the show's highest demo numbers (4.1 in adults 25-54 and 3.1 in adults 18-49) since Oprah Winfrey's first Late Show appearance following the ending of her feud with Letterman on December 1, 2005. In a rarity for a late-night show, it was also the highest-rated program on network television that night, beating out all prime time shows.[66] In Canada, the final episode was watched by 784,000 viewers, 516,000 more viewers than the show's closest competitor.[67] See also[edit]

The David Letterman
David Letterman
Show (NBC, 1980) Late Night with David Letterman
David Letterman
(NBC, 1982–1993) The Late Late Show ( CBS
CBS
program following Late Show, co-produced by Worldwide Pants from January 9, 1995 to March 20, 2015) The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
(CBS, 2015–present) List of late night network TV programs

References[edit]

^ "'Late Show with David Letterman'". epguides.  ^ "'Late Night with David Letterman' / 'Late Show with David Letterman'". Museum of Broadcast Communications.  ^ a b c Keller, Joel (April 3, 2006). "When the hell does Letterman tape his shows?". TV Squad. Archived from the original on April 5, 2006. Retrieved May 15, 2011.  ^ " TV Guide
TV Guide
Names Top 50 Shows". CBS
CBS
News. February 11, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2013.  ^ a b Bibel, Sara (October 4, 2013). " David Letterman
David Letterman
Extends Agreement to Host 'Late Show With David Letterman' Through 2015". TVbythenumbers. Retrieved January 31, 2014.  ^ Fretts, Bruce (December 23, 2013). " TV Guide
TV Guide
Magazine's 60 Best Series of All Time". TVGuide.com.  ^ Carter, Bill (December 10, 2014). " David Letterman
David Letterman
to Leave the 'Late Show' in May". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2015.  ^ " Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon
and Seth Meyers Beat the ABC and CBS
CBS
Time-Slot Competition in All Key Measures for the Week of May 25–29". zap2it. June 4, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.  ^ "'Late Show with Stephen Colbert' Premieres on Tuesday September 8th". Splitsider. January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 12, 2015.  ^ Harris, Mark (January 29, 1993). "Is Dave Worth It?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 7, 2011.  ^ a b c Carter, Bill (February 22, 1993). " CBS
CBS
Buys a Theater To Keep Letterman On New York's Stage". The New York Times. Retrieved February 22, 2014.  ^ "David Letterman: Keeping Us Up Late". Mancave. April 11, 2011. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014.  ^ Walker, Jacquie (May 20, 2015). "News 4's close encounters with David Letterman
David Letterman
from the 90s". WIVB-TV. Retrieved May 21, 2015.  ^ Maslin, Janet (August 31, 1993). "Review/Television; New Time, New Place, Same Humor". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2011.  ^ Kuntz, Tom (September 5, 1993). "AUG. 29–Sept. 4; Mega-Mouths: Jay and Dave Head-to-Head". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2011.  ^ Finn, Natalie (May 24, 2007). "Tonight Show Turns 15". E! News. Retrieved August 28, 2007.  ^ "Letterman's Show Losing Its Voice : Television: Bill Wendell's send-off has been less than warm despite his 15-year relationship with the talk-show host". latimes.  ^ Marchese, David (March 5, 2017). "In Conversation: David Letterman". New York. Retrieved 2017-03-06.  ^ a b c d Stelter, Brian (September 2, 2008). "Letterman Baffled by NBC's replacing of Leno". The New York Times. Retrieved June 10, 2009.  ^ a b c d Fisher, Luchina (June 10, 2009). "Who's Loyal to Leno, O'Brien, and Letterman?". ABC News. Retrieved June 10, 2009.  ^ a b Access Hollywood (June 10, 2009). "Roberts Sides with Letterman". MSNBC. Retrieved June 10, 2009.  ^ "David Letterman: Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts
Helps Him Beat Conan O'Brien
Conan O'Brien
for First Time; Denzel Washington, Jonas Brothers Visit Thursday". Orlando Sentinel. June 10, 2009. Archived from the original on June 14, 2009. Retrieved June 10, 2009.  ^ Ryan, Mike (January 27, 2010). "Why Jay Leno
Jay Leno
and David Letterman Hate Each Other". PopEater. Retrieved February 2, 2010.  ^ " CBS
CBS
Announces New Contract Extensions with Late Night stars David Letterman and Craig Ferguson
Craig Ferguson
Through 2015" (Press release). CBS Corporation. April 3, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2012.  ^ " Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert
Next Host of 'The Late Show'". CBS. Retrieved April 10, 2014.  ^ "Bill Wendell". The New York Times
The New York Times
(Obituary).  ^ a b Gay, Jason (April 3, 2000). "Stangel Brothers Team Up on Late Show ... Badlands of Battery Park ... Noriega Goes Down". The New York Observer. Retrieved September 15, 2013.  ^ a b Finke, Nikki (January 18, 2013). " David Letterman
David Letterman
Shakeup In Late Show Head Writers as Stangel Brothers Snag Multi-Year Development Deal". deadline.com. Archived from the original on February 15, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2013. The twosome have had an unusually long and successful 14-year run as Letterman's head writers and now will turn a lot of their attention to coming up with TV shows in any format for Worldwide Pants.  ^ "Jude Brennan". IMDb. [unreliable source?] ^ Campbell, Jon (January 18, 2013). "Letterman Shakeup: 'Late Night Show with David Letterman' Changes Up Writers". The Christian Post. Retrieved February 1, 2013. A huge 'Letterman shakeup' is taking place on the hit CBS
CBS
talk show. According to reports, writers working on the show are all getting moved around, as widespread changes are being prepared. It has been rumored that long-time writer and producer at the show, Matt Roberts, has been moved to be the new head writer for the show. Up until now the Late Show With David Letterman
David Letterman
has had two head writers,...Justin and Eric Stangel, [who] will ...continue to work with the production company Worldwide Pants.  ^ Guthrie, Marisa (April 25, 2011). "12 Talent Bookers Who Keep New York Talking". Backstage. Retrieved May 15, 2011.  ^ Stevenson, Seth (May 10, 2015). "YouTube Killed the Studio Audience: What I Learned from Going to Tapings of Every Late-Night Show". Slate. Retrieved May 11, 2015.  ^ " The Chris Gethard Show
The Chris Gethard Show
rescued the Letterman set".  ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/letterman-late-show-bridges-saved-chris-gethard-show-article-1.2269210 ^ "A Dave New World". Entertainment Weekly. March 15, 2002. Retrieved May 15, 2011.  ^ "Carson Feeds Jokes to Letterman". CBS
CBS
News. February 11, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2012.  ^ "Letterman Pays Special
Special
Tribute to Carson". redOrbit. February 1, 2005. Retrieved October 19, 2012.  ^ "Monday, August 29, 2005". The Late Show Wahoo Gazette. CBS Interactive. August 29, 2005. Retrieved April 23, 2015. The High-Definition, Wide-Screen broadcasting of the Late Show is exciting for everyone, especially those equipped with the High-Definition, Wide-Screen TV sets.  ^ "Facts from 25 Years in Late Night". CBS.  ^ a b c "Letterman Marks a Milestone". CBS
CBS
News. February 2, 2007. Retrieved September 23, 2009.  ^ Warren, Ellen; Armour, Terry (February 15, 2000). "No Shortage of Subs When Letterman Returns". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 23, 2014.  ^ "Letterman Delivers Carson's Final Monologue". people.com. 2005-02-01. Retrieved 2015-06-06.  ^ "Letterman Is Ill, So Guest Takes Over 'Late Show'". The New York Times. March 20, 2007.  ^ " Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Stuns Manhattan
Manhattan
With Set on Letterman's Marquee". Rolling Stone. July 16, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2015.  ^ "Hurricane Sandy: David Letterman
David Letterman
Performs Eerie Monologue
Monologue
to Empty Studio (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. October 29, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2012.  ^ " David Letterman
David Letterman
Had the Most Touching Robin Williams
Robin Williams
Tribute of Them All". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 19, 2014.  ^ Kumar, Kruthika (August 22, 2014). "'Late Show with David Letterman' & 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' Have the Two Most Viewed Late-Night Clips for August 18–22". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 22, 2014. This week on The Late Show With David Letterman, Letterman paid tribute to Robin Williams, recalling their early days as stand-up comics and their thirty-eight year friendship. This video has received over 3.3 million views, making it this week's most watched late night talk show video.  ^ "David Letterman's final Late Show: recap here". CBC News. May 21, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2015.  ^ "'Late Night with David Letterman:' Stars recite final Top 10 list". New York Daily News. May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2015.  ^ "David Letterman's emotional farewell". CNN Money. May 21, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2015.  ^ Peavey, April (December 14, 2015). "For Darlene Love, a Christmas without David Letterman?". Public Radio International. Retrieved September 28, 2017.  ^ Itzkoff, Dave (December 20, 2014). "Darlene Love's Last 'Letterman' Christmas". The New York Times.  ^ Wolcott, Mike (December 24, 2007). "People: Love Lost for Letterman". Contra Costa Times. Walnut Creek, California. Archived from the original on December 28, 2007.  ^ "Dave Pals To Cover For Him While He Heals". Daily News. New York. February 5, 2000. Archived from the original on June 11, 2010.  ^ "Janeane Garofalo". IMDb. [unreliable source?] ^ "Gifford to Leave". People. October 21, 1998. Retrieved May 15, 2011.  ^ Barnhart, Aaron (February 16, 2000). "Guest-Host Concept Will Ease Letterman's Work Load". KansasCity.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2015.  ^ "Letterman Stressed Out with Shingles". PEOPLE.com.  ^ a b " David Letterman
David Letterman
Ending his Friday Summer Breaks". USA Today. June 27, 2003. Retrieved May 7, 2010.  ^ "Music-Related TV Listings for March 10–16, 2003". Billboard. March 10, 2003. Retrieved April 8, 2014.  ^ http://www.cbsnews.com/news/adam-sandler-saves-day-for-letterman/ ^ O'Neil, Tom (July 8, 2010). " Conan O'Brien
Conan O'Brien
Ousts Jay Leno
Jay Leno
and David Letterman from Emmys". Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Times. Retrieved May 15, 2011.  ^ "Late Night TV Ratings For February 4-8, 2013,". zap2it.com. February 14, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013. Season-to-date figures are averages of 'live plus seven day' data except for the two most recent weeks, which are 'live plus same day.')... Season to date/Total viewers...11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. ET: NBC
NBC
"Tonight," 3.6 million viewers, CBS
CBS
"Late Show," 3.1 million viewers, ABC "Kimmel," 2.8 million viewers**  ^ a b c Poggi, Jeanine (February 13, 2014). "Why Jimmy Fallon's 'Tonight Show' Can Thrive with Fewer Viewers when Conan's Couldn't". Advertising Age. Retrieved February 14, 2014.  ^ Steinberg, Brian (March 1, 2010). "Leno's Triumphant Return to Late Night May No Longer Matter". Advertising Age. Retrieved April 5, 2012. Late Show with David Letterman: $271m; The Tonight Show: $175.9m; Jimmy Kimmel Live:– $138.1m; The Daily Show: $52.4m; The Colbert Report: $41.8m; Chelsea Lately: $40.7m; Lopez Tonight: $9.1m  ^ David Letterman's farewell episode nabs biggest audience in over 2 decades Business Insider
Business Insider
(05/21/2015) ^ "Bill Brioux". Twitter. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Late Show.

Official website Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
on IMDb Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
at TV.com Late Show with David Letterman-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television

Media offices

Preceded by First Late Show era by host 30 August 1993 – 20 May 2015 Succeeded by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Preceded by Late Night with David Letterman David Letterman
David Letterman
show 30 August 1993 – 20 May 2015 Succeeded by Years of Living Dangerously

v t e

Late Show

Shows

Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
(1993–2015)

notable episodes

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
(2015–present) (episodes: 2015 2016 2017 2018)

Music

Paul Shaffer
Paul Shaffer
and the CBS Orchestra (1993–2015) Jon Batiste & Stay Human (2015–present)

Sketches

Letterman-era sketches

Top Ten List

Colbert-era sketches

See also

The Late Late Show Madonna on Late Show Our Cartoon President Ed Sullivan Theater

v t e

David Letterman

Television hosting

The David Letterman
David Letterman
Show (1980) Late Night with David Letterman
David Letterman
(1982–1993) Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
(1993–2015) My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman
David Letterman
(2018)

Companies

The Letterman Foundation for Courtesy and Grooming Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Worldwide Pants

Related

Dorothy Mengering

v t e

Primetime Emmy Award
Emmy Award
for Outstanding Variety Series

1951–1975

The Alan Young Show
The Alan Young Show
(1951) Your Show of Shows
Your Show of Shows
(1952) Your Show of Shows
Your Show of Shows
(1953) Omnibus (1954) Disneyland (1955) The Ed Sullivan Show
The Ed Sullivan Show
/ Your Hit Parade
Your Hit Parade
(1956) Caesar's Hour
Caesar's Hour
(1957) The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
(1958) The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
(1959) The Fabulous Fifties (1960) Astaire Time (1961) The Garry Moore Show
The Garry Moore Show
(1962) The Andy Williams Show
The Andy Williams Show
(1963) The Danny Kaye Show
The Danny Kaye Show
(1964) The Andy Williams Show
The Andy Williams Show
(1966) The Andy Williams Show
The Andy Williams Show
(1967) Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1968) Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1969) The David Frost
David Frost
Show (1970) The Flip Wilson Show
The Flip Wilson Show
/ The David Frost
David Frost
Show (1971) The Carol Burnett Show
The Carol Burnett Show
/ The Dick Cavett Show
The Dick Cavett Show
(1972) The Julie Andrews Hour (1973) The Carol Burnett Show
The Carol Burnett Show
(1974) The Carol Burnett Show
The Carol Burnett Show
(1975)

1976–2000

Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
(1976) Van Dyke and Company (1977) The Muppet Show
The Muppet Show
(1978) Steve & Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin (1979) Baryshnikov on Broadway (1980) Lily: Sold Out (1981) Night of 100 Stars (1982) Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever (1983) A Celebration of the Performing Arts (1984) Motown Returns to the Apollo (1985) A Celebration of the Performing Arts (1986) 41st Tony Awards
41st Tony Awards
(1987) Irving Berlin's 100th Birthday Celebration (1988) The Tracey Ullman Show
The Tracey Ullman Show
(1989) In Living Color
In Living Color
(1990) 63rd Academy Awards
63rd Academy Awards
(1991) The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson
(1992) Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
(1993) Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
(1994) The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Jay Leno
(1995) Dennis Miller Live
Dennis Miller Live
(1996) Tracey Takes On...
Tracey Takes On...
(1997) Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
(1998) Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
(1999) Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
(2000)

2001–2014

Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
(2001) Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
(2002) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
(2003) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
(2004) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
(2005) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
(2006) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
(2007) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
(2008) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
(2009) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
(2010) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
(2011) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
(2012) The Colbert Report
The Colbert Report
(2013) The Colbert Report
The Colbert Report
(2014)

v t e

TCA Award for Program of the Year

The Jewel in the Crown (1985) Death of a Salesman / The Vanishing Family: Crisis in Black America (1986) Eyes on the Prize
Eyes on the Prize
(1987) Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1988) Lonesome Dove (1989) Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks
(1990) The Civil War (1991) Northern Exposure
Northern Exposure
(1992) Barbarians at the Gate (1993) Late Show with David Letterman
David Letterman
(1994) ER (1995) Homicide: Life on the Street (1996) EZ Streets (1997) From the Earth to the Moon (1998) The Sopranos
The Sopranos
(1999) The West Wing
The West Wing
(2000) The Sopranos
The Sopranos
(2001) 24 (2002) American Idol
American Idol
(2003) Angels in America (2004) Desperate Housewives
Desperate Housewives
(2005) Grey’s Anatomy (2006) Heroes (2007) Mad Men
Mad Men
(2008) Battlestar Galactica (2009) Glee (2010) Friday Night Lights (2011) Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones
(2012) Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad
(2013) Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad
(2014) Empire (2015) The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story
American Crime Story
(2016) The Handmaid's Tale (2017)

v t e

TCA Heritage Award

The Simpsons
The Simpsons
(2002) Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
(2003) 60 Minutes
60 Minutes
(2004) Nightline
Nightline
(2005) The West Wing
The West Wing
(2006) The Sopranos
The Sopranos
(2007) The Wire
The Wire
(2008) ER (2009) M*A*S*H (2010) The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Dick Van Dyke Show
(2011) Cheers
Cheers
(2012) All in the Family
All in the Family
(2013) Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
(2014) Late Show / Late Night with David Letterman
David Letterman
(2015) The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
(201

.