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Future of TV CBS Stephen Colbert

An interview with CBS EVP of Digital Marc DeBevoise on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert


By Natan Edelsburg, SVP

September 8, 2015 | 4 min read

Tonight Stephen Colbert and his team at CBS will make history as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert premiers on CBS tonight at 11:35pm Eastern. For the first time in late night TV's history digital numbers are going to matter as much as linear ratings as Colbert trys to keep the millenial audience that grew found of him on Comedy Central.

To understand the digital plans that the network has been investing in Found Remote interviewed Marc DeBevoise the EVP and GM of CBS Digital Media for CBS Interactive.

Found Remote: What are the main digital/social activations for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert?

Marc DeBevoise: Colbert launched as a digital-first property this June to lead into his September premiere. It's the first time we've launched a show on digital to this degree before it hits on-air. We're using digital as a way for the audience to get introduced to Colbert, in many ways its a marketing platform that we're also able to monetize.

the show has rolled out a few pieces of content a week whether it's videos or podcasts, photos and other digital initiatives like the Colbert Video Game,"Escape from the Man-Sized Cabinet."

FR: Jimmy Fallon and others have created a culture of viral videos in late night, will that be a big goal for this show? What metrics will you be looking to?

MD: A digital presence, including video, willabsolutely be a focus and I think the digital-first launch and the types of content the show has rolled out to date are indicative of their focus on digital platforms.

James Corden is also a great example with "The Late Late Show." He's averaging 50M views per month and the show's YouTube channel has over 900,000 subscribers an growing high double digit percentage points each month.

Clips of the Late Late Show have generated more than 200 million total views with numerous viral hits, including “Justin Bieber Carpool Karaoke” with over 31 million views, “Iggy Azalea Carpool Karaoke” with over 9 million, and “James Corden and Tom Hanks Act Out Tom’s Filmography” with over 13 million.

FR: What platforms are you using and why? Are you partnering with anyone?

MD: In June we rolled out the show's website,, the Colbr App for iOS, and the show's Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ accounts. The show has rolled out a few pieces of content each week since the launch, whether it's videos or podcasts, photos or other digital initiatives like the Colbert Video Game,"Escape from the Man-Sized Cabinet."

We’ve also just launched a set of videos in partnership with Snapchat to help promote the show as well as Stephen’s take-over of the directions app Waze.

FR: Is Stephen into social media? What are his favorite platforms?

MD: He's very active on social media and has more than 8.5m Twitter followers. Colbert runs his Twitter presence (@stephenathome) and has done a lot on his own account - for example, he tweeted live from the stage during his session at the TCAs.

What are some of the activations that will be happening during the premiere?

I can't release any specific details but once the show premieres, we'll continue to promote content through and the show's social media accounts.

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Future of TV CBS Stephen Colbert

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