Craig Ferguson will step down as host of “The Late Late Show” at the end of this year, Deadline reports.
Ferguson announced the news during the taping of Monday’s show. His contract with CBS was set to expire in 2015 so it was expected that he would make a decision regarding “The Late Late Show” soon.
“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 in a statement.
Nina Tassler, CBS entertainment chief, had this to say regarding Ferguson’s departure.
“During his 10 years as host, Craig has elevated CBS to new creative and competitive heights at 12:30. He infused the broadcast with tremendous energy, unique comedy, insightful interviews and some of the most heartfelt monologues seen on television.”
Tassler added, “While we’ll miss Craig and can’t thank him enough for his contributions to both the show and the network, we respect his decision to move on, and we look forward to celebrating his final broadcasts during the next eight months.”
Ferguson took over as host of “The Late Late Show” in January 2005, replacing Craig Kilborn. While he seemed like a weird choice at first Ferguson gained a hard core following of fans with his self-deprecating humor, unique opening monologues that favored anecdotes rather than one-liners, openness about his life and struggles with substance abuse, laid-back interview style, recurring jokes and bizarre supporting cast, including his talking robot sidekick Geoff Peterson. In 2006 Ferguson gave an emotional eulogy following the death of his father, which drew attention to his unique style and is considered a turning point for the show.
He was nominated for an Emmy in 2006 and won in Peabody award in 2009 for his work on “The Late Late Show.”
Though he is leaving the show Ferguson has plenty of projects lined up. He will host the syndicated game show “Celebrity Name Game” which begins in the fall. In addition his Green Mountain West production banner has developed as-of-yet scripted projects for Discovery Channel (“Naked After Dark”), Science Channel (“I F’cking Love Science”) and Comedy Central (“Porn Project”).
As for the future of “The Late Late Show,” no candidates have been mentioned for Ferguson’s replacement, however CBS president Les Moonves is open to non-traditional candidates. According to The Hollywood Reporter Neil Patrick Harris is interested in the job.
Editorial Comment: Ferguson was my favorite of the hosts. Personally I think Ferguson was a breath of fresh air in the world of late night. It’s sad he is leaving and he will be greatly missed.
What are your thoughts on Ferguson leaving the late night world? Let us know in the comments.