Among the top 10 reasons CBS execs are smiling today: David Letterman and Craig Ferguson have officially signed on to keep their late night talk shows going through 2014.
The announcement is not a surprise, as word leaked earlier this year that Letterman and Ferguson were in talks to continue their Late Show With David Letterman and Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson at the network. But now that it's signed, Letterman (who launched Late Night with David Letterman on NBC in 1982) will surpass Johnny Carson's 30-year streak as the longest-running late night host in history.
CBS says, as part of the new deal, Ferguson's show will move to a bigger stage at CBS Television City. (It currently shoots in a rather small studio, where the show was also taped with previous host Craig Kilborn.)
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"David Letterman is a late night legend with an iconic show and Craig Ferguson continues to evolve the genre in exciting and innovative ways," says CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler.
Letterman joined CBS in 1993, while Ferguson took over Late Late Show in 2005. Both shows are produced by Letterman's Worldwide Pants production company. Under the new deal, CBS will also produce Late Late Show with Worldwide Pants.
The announcement gives CBS more breathing room to figure out its succession plans in late night, where the landscape has changed dramatically — as cable networks enter the space in a big way, and alternative fare such as Adult Swim's quirky animated shows siphon off large chunks of young viewers.
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