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Stephen Colbert to Succeed David Letterman as Host of The Late Show (TVNewser)
It’s official: Stephen Colbert will take over as the host of CBS’ The Late Show when David Letterman retires next year. Specifics of Colbert’s show — including the premiere date, producers and location — will be determined after the timeline is decided for Letterman’s retirement, CBS said. Capital New York The rank and file at The Colbert Report, his Comedy Central show, are operating on the assumption they are invited to follow the comedian to staff The Late Show and stay in New York, someone familiar with Colbert’s transition plan said. Variety When Colbert sits behind the desk of the CBS program, he will do it with a new presentation — not as the right-wing caricature he plays in his current perch on Comedy Central. “He is not going to play that character,” said Nina Tassler, chairman of CBS Entertainment, in an interview. THR / The Live Feed The Colbert Report, which launched in 2005, has earned an Emmy win for outstanding variety series (2013) and three Emmy wins for writing for a variety, music or comedy program (2013, 2010, 2008). Before that, Colbert spent eight years as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart as an on-air personality and writer of news satire. He also has written two books — I Am America (And So Can You!) andAmerica Again: Re-Becoming The Greatness We Never Weren’t — and won a Grammy for spoken word for America Again earlier this year. Mashable Several media outlets quoted network executives saying the deal came together quickly after Letterman’s retirement, including breakneck negotiations with several candidates. Craig Ferguson, whose Late Late Show comes on after Letterman’s, was never seen as a true contender for the slot; it remains to be seen whether he’ll stick around after being passed over. Other names thrown in the mix were Chelsea Handler and Neil Patrick Harris — but even as top contenders, they were dark horses at best. For nearly 18 months, Colbert was always CBS’ guy.

CNN Adds Shows From Mike Rowe, Lisa Ling, John Walsh to Primetime (TVNewser)
Two weeks after Piers Morgan signed off from CNN’s primetime lineup, the network announced plans for the 9 p.m. ET timeslot. Beginning this summer, CNN will air original series — like Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and Morgan Spurlock‘s Inside Man, as well as several new series that are in development — during the hour. Deadline Hollywood CNN also unveiled plans to tap into the current fervor for religious programming with The Jesus Code – a forensic and archaeological journey through the Bible. At its upfront presentation to advertisers Thursday in New York, CNN also detailed plans to bring back Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe to series TV inSomebody’s Gotta Do It, and Lisa Ling (Our America With Lisa Ling) will also join CNN with an original series. THR / The Live Feed With the shift, CNN president Jeff Zucker is officially abandoning the interview show, a staple on CNN since Larry King debuted on the network in 1985. “We believe that genre is no longer viable. There are just too many outlets with not enough big gets for a pure talk show to thrive any longer,” Zucker said. CNN Films projects also will fill the 9 p.m. hour, and the Tom Hanks-Gary Goetzman miniseries The Sixties is set to debut in the 9 p.m. slot this May. Variety The Time Warner-owned outlet said it would keep two hours of its primetime schedule as is. CNN said Erin Burnett would remain at 7 p.m. as host of Outfront, while Anderson Cooper will continue to hold forth in his 8 p.m. hour. The 10 p.m. hour will be devoted to a one-hour program, CNN Tonight, that will take on the most interesting stories of the day.