James Corden and Trevor Noah may have left late-night TV in 2023, but Stephen Colbert remains. The Emmy-winning host has extended her contract with The late show three more years, until 2026. His contract with CBS was set to expire this year.
CBS CEO George Cheeks revealed the expansion during the Banff World Media Festival on Tuesday, June 13 in Alberta, Canada. “I just extended it for three more years and I was praying that it would happen,” Cheeks said during his panel appearance, deadlinenoting that Colbert is still “absolutely crushing it” and the show is still “firing on all cylinders.”
The Late Late Show with James Corden it ran on CBS right after Colbert’s program for eight years. As previously reported, the network was seriously considering a reboot @midnight, executive produced by Colbert, for the timeslot. Cheeks confirmed @midnight reboot during this panel according to variety.
“The 12:30 slot is ripe for reinvention,” he said. “There’s not a lot of people watching at that time, you really have to think what’s the real cross platform version? What we ended up doing primarily is Funny or Die and Stephen Colbert, so the auspices couldn’t be better. But when we sat down and talked about it, we talked about it @Midnight, and was a kind of irreverent comedy show with stand-up comics and celebrities as guests. To me, it has a very nice Colbert feel.”
For Cheeks, the WGA writers’ strike is “the only reason” the reboot has yet to be officially announced. Cheeks said they wanted to lock down a showrunner and head writer before announcing and were in the process of doing so, but the strike delayed their efforts. “I still think that once the strike is over, they can come back,” he said, implying that people are close to getting the jobs.
Colbert’s contract extension comes amid the WGA’s ongoing fight for a fair contract from the AMPTP. The late show, and its fellow late-night talk shows, went dark when the strike began on May 2 and have been airing reruns ever since. Colbert voiced his support for the WGA (of which he is a member) and unions in general in a segment on May 1, just hours before the strike began.
“This negotiation has an impact on our entire staff, of course, who work so hard to bring you this show every night, which is why everyone, including myself, hopes that both sides will come to an agreement,” said him in the May 1st episode. “But I also think that the demands of the writers are not unreasonable. I am a member of the guild. I support collective bargaining. This nation owes so much to unions. It’s true: unions are the reason we have weekends.”
Colbert has been hosting the main event since September 2015. David Letterman hosted it from 1993-2015. He was a correspondent at The daily show from 1997-2005 and then hosted The Colbert Report from 2005-2014.