CBS made the announcement today, putting to an end to speculation about which comic/host would take over the franchise.
“Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” Network CEO Leslie Moonves said.
“David Letterman’s legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today’s announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night.”
Colbert will begin with a five-year deal. A start date has yet to be disclosed.
Letterman shocked many last week when he casually mentioned to his audience that he would leave the show “in about a year.”
In a statement released after the announcement, Colbert gushed over his selection. “Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career. I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead. I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me.”
He closed his comments with his trademark brand of humor saying, “now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth."
The network and the host confirmed there are no decisions as to where the show will be based, or who will lead the production team.