Transitions are tough, and Stephen Colbert’s conversion from satirical news host to late-night personality hasn’t been without hiccups. While The Late Show has pulled in respectable ratings, it lags well behind Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show in terms of viewership and — despite its more coveted time slot — has been shared more on social media that another CBS program: The Late Late Show with James Corden.
Given that fact, recent rumors of a possible time slot swap are hardly surprising, and it seems they’ve grown loud enough to warrant a response from network brass.
“We have no plans to flip the two shows,” Glenn Geller, president of CBS Entertainment told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s really easy for people to pit the shows against each other. But they’re different kinds of shows, they’re different kinds of hosts. One was a known quantity to America, and the other was not. I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two and say, ‘Well, just because one show has this, why doesn’t the other?'”
That certainly doesn’t sound like hedging, but things can change very quickly in the fickle world of TV.
Though he acknowledged that Colbert has been “uneven” in his new gig thus far, Geller said that he expects the host to shine during the conventions, noting his penchant for political satire.
Those who’ve been keeping up with the Republican National Convention will likely have seen the clip of Colbert dressed as Caesar Flickerman, introducing the “hungry for power games.” It’s this sort of viral-style content that had been missing from his late-night repertoire, and one wonders if the network has finally made the decision to take the reins off of the host and let him do what got him famous in the first place.
We’ll have to wait and see if the election season can give Colbert a boost but, either way, it looks like he’s staying put for the foreseeable future.