For years the late night lineup has been dominated by Letterman and Leno, on the "Late Show with David Letterman" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" respectively. The late night equation is going to change, with NBC moving Jimmy Fallon into "The Tonight Show," but CBS is retaining Letterman for two more years, according to an Oct. 4, 2013 media announcement from CBS Television Network.
CBS and Worldwide Pants announced a contract extension for David Letterman to host the "Late Show with David Letterman through 2015.
“Les and I had a lengthy discussion, and we both agreed that I needed a little more time to fully run the show into the ground,” said Letterman as quoted in the announcement.
“There is only one Dave, and we are extremely proud that he continues to call CBS ‘home,’” said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation.
David Letterman is already the the longest-running late night talk show host in television history at 31 years and counting. With a guaranteed two more years on his contract, Letterman will have a record for longevity that will be hard to beat.
Letterman has been credited with redefining the talk show genre since “Late Night with David Letterman” premiered on NBC on Feb. 1, 1982. The groundbreaking show earned a Peabody Award, five Emmy Awards and 35 Emmy nominations during its 11½ years on the air. Letterman was honored in the Kennedy Center Honors in 2012.
Leno has been hosting "The Tonight Show" since 1992, and frequently guest hosted for Johnny Carson prior to taking the helm of the show. Letterman wanted the prestigious spot on "The Tonight Show" which ultimately went to Leno, causing a late-night feud that continues to this day. Even though Leno's show tops the ratings, NBC is replacing Leno with Fallon in an obvious bid for a younger demographic. Jimmy Fallon to replace Jay Leno on The Tonight Show
A milestone for the "Late Show with David Letterman" was reached in 2013 because the show celebrated its 20 year anniversary on CBS Television Network. The late night show debuted on CBS on August 30, 1993, gathering a number of awards over the years. The show has been honored with nine Emmy Awards, including six for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program, and a staggering 73 Emmy nominations. David Letterman honored at Kennedy Center Honors
CBS reported that the "Late Show" increased its audience 5% over last year during the opening week of the 2013-2014 broadcast season, with a weekly average of 3.14 million viewers.
The "Late Show with David Letterman" is broadcast weeknights (11:35 p.m.-12:37 a.m., ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The show is a production of Worldwide Pants Incorporated. Barbara Gaines, Matt Roberts, Jude Brennan, Maria Pope, Eric Stangel, Justin Stangel and Rob Burnett are the executive producers.