Craig Ferguson has been a late night staple for the past 10 years with the Late Late Show. Mostly spreading through a cult following and word of mouth, Ferguson has managed to get more and more love over the years. Yet, sometimes people have to move on. Craig Ferguson announced last night that he will be leaving the show.
Ferguson is set to leave this December; once his contract with CBS expires. Ferguson said regarding the split:
“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.”
Craig Ferguson loves to keep to his comedic roots, so it should come as no surprise that he would speak of all of this in a comedic tone. It makes it easier on him, CBS, and the fans. Ferguson could simply degrade the network and speak badly about it. He could even overspend his budget similar to Conan O’Brien did when he left The Tonight Show.
Yet, Craig has maintained professionalism through it all, and that is respectable.
As always, it seemed that some places had more information on the reason Craig Ferguson was leaving the show. Deadline has this to say about the departure:
“Ferguson has been the show’s host since succeeding Craig Kilborn in January of ’05; his contract was set to expire this summer, so it had been widely expected some decision on his CBS late-night future would be reached soon-ish. And all America recently was brought up to speed on the clause in that contract that landed him a pot of cash if the network looked elsewhere for its David Letterman replacement. That happened when CBS went with Stephen Colbert after Dave also surprised his studio audience with news he was stepping down in 2015. But Ferguson was quick to tweet his congratulations to Colbert the morning the news broke. That night, Ferguson opened his show with another shout out to Colbert, after which he teased viewers with cracks about resigning — but only for the length of a commercial.”
“While CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler had insisted publicly CBS loves Craig, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves recently acknowledged Ferguson’s timeslot was up for grabs and said “we’re having conversations” but “there’s nothing to report now.” CBS execs were said to be frustrated that the numbers haven’t grown on Ferguson’s show, currently co-produced by CBS and Letterman’s Worldwide Pants, though others suggested that was just the rumblings of a network prepping its position should its star take a hike.”
It is true that Craig Ferguson did have a payment clause in his contract. The clause stated that if David Letterman were to retire within the contract time of Ferguson, either Ferguson would become the new Late Show host or he would be given a sum of around $5-8 million dollars if he was passed over for the spot.
As said above, Colbert Report’s Stephen Colbert will be taking over the show for Letterman. This means that Craig Ferguson will see the guaranteed money. So he is not leaving CBS empty handed of course.
It is good that CBS loves Craig Ferguson. It is doubtful that they would want him upset as his fans are quite passionate. The fact that he is on so late hurts his potential timeslot rating. He is not really competing against anyone at this time. While he used to face off somewhat with Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night, Seth Meyer’s version of the show is not doing the same numbers Fallon pulled in. So it’s not as if Ferguson is facing a war with another host. Both men suffer due to the time they are on, but it is uncertain if CBS understands that. They don’t see ratings and that is the problem.
While there have been rumors swirling on who will take over the Late Late Show when Craig Ferguson leaves, no one has been confirmed for the show and may not be until this Fall.