According to Netflix, the series will utilize a unique format that combines traditional onstage talk show interviews with segments recorded in the outside world, where Letterman will explore specific topics of interest. For those curious about the full lineup of guests, Netflix US sent out a tweet.
— Netflix US (@netflix) January 5, 2018
In addition to Obama, that’s (in chronological order): Actor/director George Clooney (Money Monster); 20-year-old Pakistani activist and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai; actor/writer Tina Fey (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot); radio host Howard Stern; and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. Netflix said that the series will focus on in-depth examinations of the guests and their lives, rather than talking about recent news.
Letterman is more than two years removed from his 22-year stint hosting the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS, where he was succeeded by veteran comedian Stephen Colbert (Letterman remains the longest-tenured talk show host in history, having surpassed Johnny Carson). Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants, also produced The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and a slew of network comedies, including Everybody Loves Raymond.
This isn’t the first time Netflix tried its hand at a talk show; Chelsea Handler’s program was canceled in October after receiving a lukewarm reception for two seasons. Handler’s series ran three episodes each week in its first season before cutting down to just one weekly episode in its second season; hopefully, with more time to work on each episode, Letterman’s series will fare a bit better.