According to USA Today, during Monday's taping of "The Late Late Show" on CBS, host Craig Ferguson told his studio audience that he will be leaving the talk show in December. Ferguson said in a statement, "CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are 'consciously uncoupling,' but we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much."
Ferguson, 51, has been the show's host since succeeding Craig Kilborn in Jan. 2005. As of now, a replacement has not been announced. Wouldn't it be interesting if it will be another Craig? The way things are going with the other late night hosts, a replacement will probably be revealed soon especially since Ferguson is leaving by the end of the year.
It was just a few weeks ago that David Letterman announced his retirement from his "Late Show" that comes on CBS just before Ferguson's "The Late Late Show." Letterman said he plans to retire next year. Letterman's Worldwide Pants produces Ferguson's show, and Ferguson was contractually promised Letterman's chair when he retired. Ferguson, whose contract is up this year, was not considered a candidate for David Letterman's replacement. It was reported that a clause is in Ferguson's contract that could land him a lot of money if the network looked elsewhere for David Letterman's replacement. Stephen Colbert has already been named as Letterman's replacement when he retires in 2015.
Nina Tassler, CBS Entertainment chairperson said, "During his 10 years as host, Craig has elevated CBS to new creative and competitive heights at 12:30. He infused the broadcast with tremendous energy, unique comedy, insightful interviews and some of the most heartfelt monologues seen on television." Also in the statement, Tassler said the network will miss Ferguson. She thanked him for his contributions to both the show and the network.
During Ferguson's time as the host, "The Late Late Show" had its highest ratings since its debut in 1995. It won a Peabody Award in 2010 for Ferguson's interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It is not clear what Ferguson will do after leaving CBS. He is working on several projects, including hosting a syndicated game show, "Celebrity Name Game," that is scheduled to premiere in the fall.
Ferguson's announcement comes after recent changes with other late night talk shows. Jay Leno retired from the "Tonight Show" on NBC and was replaced by Jimmy Fallon. Fallon moved into Leno's slot while Seth Meyers moved into Fallon's slot.