NEW YORK- Stephen Colbert will be the new host of "The Late Show" after David Letterman retires in 2015, CBS announced Thursday.
One week after David Letterman announced he was retiring next year, the Columbia Broadcasting System announced on its website that "Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of 'The Colbert Report,' will succeed Letterman."
The post went on to say:
"Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television," CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves said in a statement Thursday. "David Letterman's legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today's announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night."
Stephen Colbert's show on Comedy Central is a satirical sendup of a personality-driven cable news program. Colbert has widely been characterized as spoofing Fox newscaster Bill O'Riley.
It remains to be seen if Colbert will continue to play a character for CBS or whether his brand of humor will translate to a network audience.
Colbert's show averaged 1.9 million viewers and a 1.0 rating. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno has averaged 3.6 million viewers and a 0.8 rating, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Letterman began as a late night talk show host in 1982 with his NBC show, "Late Night with David Letterman." He made a name for himself with his sarcastic sense of humor and slate of pranks and physical comedy stunts.
In 1992 when Johnny Carson, the then-reigning king of late night, retired, Letterman was expected to take his slot. The job went to Jay Leno and Letterman promptly moved to CBS and New York's Ed Sullivan Theater in 1993.