CBS' Stephen Colbert Pick Was A Fresh Bold Move

We think CBS' decision to replace David Letterman, when he retires as host of "Late Night with David Letterman" in 2015, with cable host Stephen Colbert is a fresh choice that signals CBS' desire to capture the on-trend and youth oriented environment Colbert has created, and move it to network television. Of course for the most part it's always about ratings and demos: In the last seven weeks Colbert's median age for viewers was 41.9 (633, 000 were in the most coveted demographic 18 to 49), while Jimmy Fallon's median age was 53.3 and Jimmy Kimmel's median age was 55.8. What Colbert won't be bringing to CBS is the right-wing character he portrays on the "Colbert Report".

Some critics wonder if Colbert will be as funny if he plays himself considering his success has been based on a "character" he portrays and therefore he might suffer from typecasting. However, with Colbert's selection and with Letterman's retirement, it will mark an end to the Johnny Carson generation (although Arsenio Hall is still hosting) who remember Carson's domination of the late-night landscape and were influenced by him. Industry experts also say Jimmy Fallon has changed late-night hosting, and hosts must now sing and dance. We think Caron did that too, perhaps not to the same extent. Some Colbert fans are not happy about the move. They fear the cable host might have to conform to network standards of behavior, not observed in cable TV. It will be interesting to see if Colbert can carry his brand of funny over to late-night network TV, but this was a fresh bold move for CBS.


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