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Stephen Colbert Gets Letterman Job: Battle On to Move Show to LA

Stephen Colbert must decide whether to keep David Letterman's show in New York or head west to Los Angeles.

Stephen Colbert must decide whether to keep David Letterman’s show in New York or head west to Los Angeles. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images)

Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central second fiddle to Jon Stewart, is getting his shot at network television in David Letterman’s job. Question is will he take it in New York City, or will he move the show to Los Angeles?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made his pitch today (Apr. 10) to keep the show in the Big Apple.

“I am calling CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves and urging that CBS continue the ‘Late Show’s’ history of filming in New York’s own legendary Ed Sullivan Theater,” he said in a statement.

The issue is a hot one because Jimmy Fallon left a big gaping hole in Los Angeles when he moved the “Tonight Show” back to New York City after a 42-year run in L.A.

“Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson moved the show to NBC Studios in Burbank, Calif. from New York City in 1972, and made Burbank one of his punch lines.

When Leno, a West Coast guy, took over the show in 1992, he continued to tape out of the Burbank studios.

Conan O’Brien took over the “Tonight Show” for seven months, starting in 2009, he left New York for Los Angeles. He’d taped his previous show, “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” at NBC’s Rockefeller Center studio in Manhattan.

When he jumped to his new show “Conan” on TBS he stayed in Los Angeles.

With an opening for a late night show in Los Angeles in close proximity to Hollywood celebrities, CBS is gently trying to nudge Colbert to move west, according to a source.

Colbert tapes his current show, Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” in New York City.

While there have been few rumblings out of Los Angeles yet, Cuomo is pitching hard to keep Colbert in the Big Apple.

“Our state is a top destination for entertainment businesses to thrive and grow… and late night programs are a major part of that success,” he said.

“We must ensure that the ‘Late Show’s’ long and proud history of making the nation laugh from New York continues for years to come,” he added.

For the latest on the shift in late night television in the wake of David Letterman’s planned retirement, follow TheImproper on Twitter.


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