Of the many options available, CBS’ top choice to replace “Late Show” host David Letterman is comedian Stephen Colbert, Mashable reports.
There have been no conversations or negotiations between Colbert and the network, but he is currently their No. 1 choice, unnamed sources told the website.
Colbert’s contract with Comedy Central runs through 2014. Meanwhile, Letterman announced he will retire in 2014. If nothing else, the timing is great.
Deadline’s Nikki Finke also said her sources confirm CBS is looking at Colbert and he is the “only one on the air currently that CBS is considering.”
During a taping of Thursday’s edition of “Late Show,” Letterman startled his audience with the news that he will step down in 2015, when his current contract with CBS expires.
He specified no end date, saying he expects his exit will be in “at least a year or so, but sometime in the not too distant future – 2015, for the love of God, (band leader) Paul (Shaffer) and I will be wrapping things up.”
What he’ll be wrapping up is three decades on the air – the longest tenure of any late-night talk show host in U.S. television history – since he launched “Late Night” at NBC in 1982.
But more than that, he’ll be ending a lineage of late-night hosts who pioneered talk and humor in the wee hours – Johnny Carson, of course, and, before him, Jack Paar and especially Steve Allen.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.