The Late Show with David Letterman

David Letterman was passed over to succeed Johnny Carson as host of The Tonight Show, but is now poised to dethrone Carson as the longest-running late-night star in TV history.

Letterman, 64, is nearing a deal with CBS that would keep him behind the desk of the Late Show through 2014, according to The New York Times. 2014 will mark his 32nd year in late night (11 years on NBC's Late Night followed by what would be 21 years on CBS).  Carson was on the air in late night for 30 years.

As Dave catches Jay, are the late night wars over?

CBS has been authorized by Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, to make new deals with the show's staff, producers and writers, according to the newspaper. Although this indicates a deal with Letterman is "very close," as a source tells the Times, the future of CBS' other late-night host, Craig Ferguson, is uncertain. He may choose not to continue as the host of The Late Late Show.

Although it was believed that Letterman would retire at the end of his current two-year deal, which expires in August, he is now likely to stay on TV. Ferguson has a clause in his contract that he will succeed Letterman whenever he chooses to step down. However, Ferguson may leave CBS if he is not offered a big salary or a higher production budget for his show, according to the Times.

Are you happy David Letterman is staying in late night?