David Letterman chooses Netflix for return to TV, further widening the streaming service’s audience
Netflix continues to gain ground against traditional television. The streaming service has now signed David Letterman, broadcast TV’s longest-serving late night host at 33 years, to star in a new Netflix series.
David Letterman signs with Netflix for new series
The former host of NBC’s Late Night and CBS’s The Late Show is returning for a yet-to-be-named, six episode series. The show will combine Letterman’s interests – in-depth conversations with extraordinary people, and in-the-field segments expressing his curiosity and humor, according to a release by Netflix.
In each hour-long episode, Letterman will conduct a long-form conversation with a singular guest – and will also explore topics on his own, away from the studio. The series is set to premiere in 2018.
Said Letterman in the release: “I feel excited and lucky to be working on this project for Netflix. Here's what I have learned, if you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first. Thanks for watching, drive safely.”
Added Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix: "Just meeting David Letterman was a thrill; imagine how exciting it is for me to announce that we will be working together. David Letterman is a true television icon, and I can’t wait to see him out in the wild, out from behind the desk and interviewing the people he finds most interesting. We’ll have to see if he keeps the beard.”
The project is being produced by RadicalMedia, the Academy Award- and Emmy-winning company behind Netflix’s What Happened, Miss Simone?, Oh Hello on Broadway and Abstract: The Art of Design, and Letterman’s Worldwide Pants.
This is yet another win for Netflix, which is growing its intellectual property and scoring with its own shows like Black Mirror, Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black. It also recently acquired comic book publishing company Millarworld, and announced that it had a greater than expected jump in subscribers, up to 104 million globally.
With Letterman, Netflix gets a proven draw. As a writer, performer and producer, Letterman is one of the most-nominated individuals in Emmy Award history, with 52 nominations, resulting in 10 wins. Letterman is also a two-time Peabody-Award winner, a Kennedy Center Honoree, and will receive the Mark Twain Prize in October.
From his roots in comedy, Letterman also became renowned as an interviewer, sharing the stage with US presidents, cabinet officials, Medal of Honor recipients, and virtually every presidential candidate for more than 20 years.
Letterman announced his departure from The Late Show in 2014, and aired his final episode on May 20, 2015 to an audience of 13.76 million people.