That didn’t last long. Veteran talk show host David Letterman retired from television in 2015 after hosting CBS’s “The Late Show” for 22 years, and before that he had hosted NBC’s “Late Night” for 11 years, giving him a legendary grand total of 33 years on the air. But just two years later Netflix has announced that they have lured him out of retirement for a new variety series, though it appears it will be quite different from the shows he hosted nightly for more than three decades.
The new series will consist of six hour-long episodes that combine lengthy in-depth conversations with single guests and topical in-the-field segments. It’s expected to premiere in 2018.
Letterman said in a statement, “I feel excited and lucky to be working on this project for Netflix. Here’s what I have learned, if you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first. Thanks for watching, drive safely.”
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos added, “Just meeting David Letterman was a thrill; imagine how exciting it is for me to announce that we will be working together. David Letterman is a true television icon, and I can’t wait to see him out in the wild, out from behind the desk and interviewing the people he finds most interesting. We’ll have to see if he keeps the beard.”
Over the course of his career Letterman won five Emmys: Best Variety Series for “Late Show” (1994) and Best Variety Series Writing for “Late Night” (1984-1987). His “Late Show” then went on to win five more Emmys for Best Variety Series (1998-2002), but Letterman himself didn’t share in those victories because he wasn’t credited as a producer for those years.
There has been a lot of turnover in the late-night landscape in recent years. After all that could Latterman return to his Emmy perch next year? Comment below, and discuss this and more in our forums.