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Stephen Colbert Named as New Host of “The Late Show”

CBS has announced, fairly quickly, who will replace the retiring David Letterman as host of “The Late Show.,” according to a release from the network.

The new host will be Stephen Colbert, who currently hosts “The Colbert Report.” The first agreement between the network and Colbert is for five years. The switch will become effective when Letterman retires, which was announced on his April 3 broadcast.

The announcement was made by Leslie Moonves, the President and CEO of CBS and Nina Tassler, the Chairman of CBS Entertainment.

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Letterman has hosted the show for 21 years. Letterman will determine a timeline for his final shows in 2015 and then a debut date will be set for Colbert. The location of the Colbert version of the show will also be determined at a later date.

“Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” 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.”

Tassler added, “Stephen is a multi-talented and respected host, writer, producer, satirist and comedian who blazes a trail of thought-provoking conversation, humor and innovation with everything he touches. He is a presence on every stage, with interests and notable accomplishments across a wide spectrum of entertainment, politics, publishing and music. We welcome Stephen to CBS with great pride and excitement, and look forward to introducing him to our network television viewers in late night.”

Colbert talked about being a guest on Letterman’s edition of the program, saying, “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. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”

“The Colbert Report” launched in 2005 on Comedy Central has won two Peabody Awards and 27 Emmy Nominations. It won an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Series in 2013. It also picked up three Emmy wins for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Program in 2013, 2010 and 2008.

Colbert started out on “The Daily Show” as a correspondent, also on Comedy Central. He spent time as a member of the Second City improv troupe out of Chicago following graduation from Northwestern University.

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