Craig Ferguson just announced he is leaving his CBS late night talk show in December.
"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," Ferguson said during a taping of his show on Monday. Deadline has more of the details behind the news:
Ferguson has been the show's host since succeeding Craig Kilborn in January of '05; his contract was set to expire this summer, so it had been widely expected some decision on his CBS late-night future would be reached soon-ish. And all America recently was brought up to speed on the clause in that contract that landed him a pot of cash if the network looked elsewhere for its David Letterman replacement. That happened when CBS went with Stephen Colbert after Dave also surprised his studio audience with news he was stepping down in 2015. But Ferguson was quick to tweet his congratulations to Colbert the morning the news broke. That night, Ferguson opened his show with another shout out to Colbert, after which he teased viewers with cracks about resigning — but only for the length of a commercial.
While CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler had insisted publicly CBS loves Craig, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves recently acknowledged Ferguson's timeslot was up for grabs and said "we're having conversations" but "there's nothing to report now." CBS execs were said to be frustrated that the numbers haven't grown on Ferguson's show, currently co-produced by CBS and Letterman's Worldwide Pants, though others suggested that was just the rumblings of a network prepping its position should its star take a hike.
Ferguson became the host of the show in 2005, following previous hosts Craig Kilborn and Tom Snyder. During his time as the host, the show had its highest ratings since its debut in 1995.
There have been a lot of rumors that this might happen after Letterman announced his retirement and I am just imagining how devastated his fans are going to be now that it is confirmed. Ferguson has a lot of loyal, loving fans that helped spread word-of-mouth about the show. Now comes the speculation about who could replace him and more importantly, where Ferguson could end up next.
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