One silver lining to David Letterman's departure from Late Night (as sad as it is)? Now, the speculation and courting of a new host begins. You would think that Craig Ferguson would be first in line to take the reigns of the gig—but that doesn't seem to be the case. As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, his show is "perceived as a more niche chat hour built around his quirky interview style rather than a mainstream variety."
So, if not Ferguson, then who? The hints are starting to roll in: Beginning with this tidbit of info that, a few years ago, former Daily Show correspondent turned HBO talk show host, John Oliver was a contender to recieve his own show on CBS:
The pitch was for Oliver potentially to occupy the 12:30 time slot currently filled by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in the event Ferguson does not re-up his contract at the end of 2014, or possibly for Oliver to launch a different show that would be syndicated by CBS, according to sources.
So, there is the theory that Oliver could be asked back to CBS now that a job has opened up, since he was considered years ago—but Oliver just got a new job at HBO for his own weekly talk show, so it doesn't seem likely that he would leave now. Because, really: Why on Yeezus' green Earth would he give up the absolute creative freedom of working at HBO?
Oliver's name isn't the only being thrown around, though:
Names ranging from Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris to Chris Rock and Conan O’Brien (still doing a broadcast-style show despite a cable platform on TBS) have already surfaced as potential Letterman replacements, with multiple sources agreeing Ferguson is not seriously in the running. Female-skewing Chelsea Handler surely will put her hat in the ring too, after THR reported earlier this week that she plans to leave E! at the conclusion of her contract this year.
On the other hand, Deadline ex-pat Nikki Finke tweeted the following:
Letterman 2015 Replacement: My sources say Stephen Colbert "the only one on the air currently that CBS is considering."— Nikki Finke (@NikkiFinke) April 3, 2014
While this would be interesting, we've gotta ask: Why would Stephen Colbert, whose persona is a deep, deep, satirical piece of performance art be seriously considered to host a late night talk show on network TV?
So, anyway, who do you think is the most worthy for one of the most coveted jobs in show biz?