The face of late night television is continuing to change with Monday’s announcement by Craig Ferguson that he will be vacating his spot as host of CBS’ “The Late Late Show” at the end of the year. Ferguson broke the news during Monday’s taping of the show he has hosted since 2005.
Ferguson, whose contract had been scheduled to expire at year’s end, “took the issue into his own hands and informed CBS executives that he would make the announcement Monday night,” according to The New York Times
In a prepared statement, Ferguson said, “CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling,’ but we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much.” The first joke is a reference to Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s recent divorce announcement. The second refers to his robot sidekick, Geoff, and the horse-suited character, Secretariat, also a regular on his show.
On his show, he joked that he may go into carpentry as his next career.
As the New York Times points out, Ferguson’s announcement comes just a little more than three weeks after David Letterman’s retirement announcement, and may have been prompted by CBS’ decision to replace Letterman with Stephen Colbert rather than Ferguson himself.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves, said, “12:30 is up in the air” and suggested the network was looking at multiple candidates for “The Late Late Show.” As the Times reports, “That quote signaled that network most likely had other plans for the show beyond Mr. Ferguson. Several reports have also indicated that CBS previously had preliminary talks about the 12:35 host role with candidates that included John Oliver and Neil Patrick Harris.”