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CBS extends David Letterman contract through 2015
One more for the road? CBS and David Letterman Friday announced a one-year extension that will keep "Late Show with David Letterman" on the air through 2015.
"Les [Moonves] and I had a lengthy discussion, and we both agreed that I needed a little more time to fully run the show into the ground," said Letterman in a characteristically deadpan statement, while Moonves -- CBS president and CEO -- added, "There is only one Dave, and we are extremely proud that he continues to call CBS 'home.' "
Moonves had indicated -- strongly -- in recent months that a renewal was forthcoming. At the recent TV critics' press tour in Beverly Hills, he was asked about Letterman's future, and responded: "Other than Johnny Carson, he's probably the best that ever was. We like the stability. We like the relationship we have with Dave. He's our guy and despite what people think, we don't like drama at 11:30."
That was a not-so-veiled reference to the drama at NBC, which once again presents an opportunity for Letterman -- and CBS -- much as it did when Jay Leno stepped aside for Conan O'Brien in 2009. Jimmy Fallon will become the "Tonight Show" host in February and -- much as they did in 2009 -- longtime Jay Leno viewers could sample other shows, which could be a windfall for "Late Show."
At 66, Letterman is indeed the dean: Twenty years at "Late Show," and 11 years since "Late Night with David Letterman" premiered on NBC.