Letterman set to surpass Johnny Carson’s late night talk show record

Washington: David Letterman and Craig Ferguson have signed two year deals with CBS network to keep hosting their respective shows till 2014, which will make Letterman the longest running late-night talk show host in TV history.

He will surpass Johnny Carson’s record of a few months less than 30 years at NBC’s ‘Tonight Show’.

Letterman, who turns 65 next week, began on NBC in 1982 with ‘Late Night’, before switching to CBS in 1993 after Jay Leno edged him out for the ‘Tonight Show’ crown upon Carson’s retirement.

No salary figures were disclosed. But as part of the new deal, Ferguson’s ‘The Late Late Show’ will be upgraded from its famously matchbox-size studio to a larger stage at Los Angeles’ CBS Television City, the network said.

“David Letterman is a late-night legend with an iconic show and Craig Ferguson continues to evolve the genre in exciting and innovative ways,” Fox News quoted CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler as saying in the announcement.

The Scottish-born Ferguson, 49, had been a musician, actor, writer, director and comedian when he took over ‘The Late Late Show’ in 2005. He has been guaranteed the earlier slot when Letterman decides to retire.

Originating from Manhattan’s Ed Sullivan Theatre, ‘The Late Show’ has won nine Emmy Awards. In addition to an Emmy nomination, ‘The Late Late Show’ won a Peabody Award in 2009.