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Back in late 2009 and early 2010, when I was looking at all of the Late Night Talk Show Hosts, the one I ranked lowest was Jimmy Fallon and the one I ranked highest was Craig Ferguson. Here we are, a third of the way through 2014 and Fallon is ruling late night in a way that hasn't been seen since Johnny was swinging an imaginary golf club, and Craig Ferguson is going to call it quits next year. I guess I really had no vision of the future!

But let's face it. Ferguson is a multi-talented fellow who I think will do ok without needing to host a talk show. His skills can and and will be put to better use in all of the areas that he will likely go. He has already done voice over work for film with the "How to Train Your Dragon" series. He's written several books, memoirs about his life and observations about his adopted country. He's making personal appearances, doing stand up comedy. In short, Ferguson, unlike his Craig predecessor, Mr. Kilborn, has a plan for what to do with his future and has the wherewithal to make it happen.

So, I guess this means when I do the next ranking of the talk show hosts, there will be a totally new CBS lineup to examine. It also means I'll probably postpone this another year, to give Stephen Colbert some time to get up to speed. But that begs the question: who will be the new Late Late Show Host?

I do have a short list of candidates, but I don't really know what CBS is willing to try. And rather than wildly speculate, let's go with the most likely.

Now, CBS already has two potential hosts working right there in Television City: Wayne Brady and Drew Carey. Wayne hosts the current incarnation of "Let's Make a Deal," and Drew has been slowly turning "The Price Is Right" into a program that's more suited to his style from what everyone remembers of the legendary Bob Barker.

Personally, I think Wayne would be a great choice. He can sing, dance, do improv, tell jokes, talk with people and generally have a great time and make it a great time for the audience. BTW, Wayne hosted a well-received syndicated daytime talk show from 2002 to 2004, which went on to win the Emmy. That makes Mr. Brady the more likely of the two to transition to that role, having had a fair amount of experience in that field. He could probably continue to host "Deal" if that was required, but I'm sure he would want to throw all his energy into this new project.

Drew, though I'm sure he *could* host, I'm not sure if following Mr. Wick would be his thing?! However, maybe he's interested in escaping the screaming and clutching contestants from "Price," as an option! Still, there's no doubt that Drew is fun, funny, has a calm demeanor, and can certainly talk and do sketch material like nobody's business. He has a vast amount of experience with a variety of comedy, both sitcom style and improv. And he's interviewed lots of folks before. He'd certainly have no problem going from the little microphone to the big desk.

There's also Whitney Cummings, who I would love to see at least get a shot at hosting. Her CBS connection is through "2 Broke Girls," the smash hit sitcom that she co-created. Always funny, always something to say worth saying, and perfectly willing to be silly for the sake of the laugh (as she proved on her NBC sitcom, "Whitney"), She's like Sarah Silverman without the grossness, or Chelsea Handler without the angst. Whitney, were she given the job, would be the first woman hosting a late night network show since... Joan Rivers' swing on Fox, back when Carson was still King. Do you realize how long a gap that's been? Here's a clue: Whitney would have been almost 3 at the time Joan's talk show was terminated. Isn't it time?

In short, CBS has plenty of options for Late Late without even leaving Beverly Boulevard. I really hope it's one of these!


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 3rd, 2014 09:14 pm (UTC)
Craig Ferguson also just finished up a few episode gig on the sitcom "Hot in Cleveland" with the door left very wide open for his return. While not a huge deal, he's working with Jane Leeves, Valerie Bertinelli, Wendi Malick and most importantly, Betty White! So he is still on tv in some small capacity.(HiC was just renewed for a 6th season and is TVLand's one breakout hit)
May. 3rd, 2014 09:17 pm (UTC)
He's also written and starred in several films, so can always go back to that. Plus he's getting a rumoured $10 m from CBS for not being given the Late Show hosting, so he's got time to plan what he wants to do next.;)
May. 3rd, 2014 09:24 pm (UTC)
It's truly amazing what these networks are paying hosts to NOT talk! Of course Conan made out pretty spectacularly, but it sounds like Craig won Lotto, too!
May. 3rd, 2014 11:26 pm (UTC)
I think Craig had first rights refusal in his contract. Since CBS didn't offer him the seat first, as contracted, they had to pay him off. He doesn't seem to be minding too much. I just hope there's no bad blood between him and Colbert because I like them both.
May. 3rd, 2014 09:22 pm (UTC)
Ferguson can always, always go back to sitcommery if that is his inclination. Pretty much any show would be lucky to have him join their cast, or really he could head up his own show. Or he could provide comic relief on a drama too. Or provide pathos. Lots of different routes!
May. 3rd, 2014 11:28 pm (UTC)
I never watched the Drew Carey show, so keep forgetting Ferguson did sitcoms prior to the talk show. I knew about his film career and his connection to programs like Doc Martin, but always forget the rest.

My own hope is that since he's a good personal friend of Peter Capaldi (they were in a band together back in Scotland when they were in their late teens/early 20s and apparently Capaldi encouraged Craig to try his hand at comedy), and such a huge Doctor Who fan, that he at least gets Capaldi on his show once before it ends in December (new Doctor Who will most likely start at the end of August/beginning of Sept. so hopefully there will be a lot of promotion.)
May. 3rd, 2014 11:34 pm (UTC)
And, after having that TARDIS on his desk this whole while, it would be great to have Fergy turn up in a story arc on Doctor Who! That could certainly happen as well!
May. 3rd, 2014 11:43 pm (UTC)
That's true -- I hadn't even thought of that. He's free to up and go to Cardiff to shoot an episode now, although it would most likely be for Series/Season 9 since he's not leaving CBS til December.
May. 3rd, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)
He is also going to be hosting a new game show, although I can't remember the name of it. And in the fall, he will be host to a new science show on the Science Network, based off of the "I Fucking Love Science!" facebook page (no, seriously!). This was already in the works before Letterman retired. I think he was already planning on leaving in the near future.
May. 3rd, 2014 11:05 pm (UTC)
I knew the I Fucking Love Science show was happening, but didn't know Craig was involved, so good for him. :) (I follow the FB page myself) So yeah, he's definitely got irons in the fire.
May. 4th, 2014 01:31 am (UTC)
Yep! I think he may be helping to produce it as well, but don't quote me on that. I would love to see him write another book! Or a movie.

It makes sense that he's moving on. He's too motivated and adventurous to be stuck behind a desk for the rest of his career.
May. 3rd, 2014 09:40 pm (UTC)
I don't think about these things like you do, but I have to admit that Whose Line Is It Anyway was always better when Drew was the host. Without him, it is still funny, but kind of like milk toast.

Wayne's talent pool is amazing, but even he isn't able to carry "whose line" by himself.
May. 3rd, 2014 09:51 pm (UTC)
Drew was a great reactor - something Johnny Carson was also brilliant at, and that skill makes a funny moment hilarious.

And actually, you reminded me of another potentially great host: Aisha Tyler... she's the current host of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" on The CW and is already a talk show host, being one of the ladies on the CBS daytime chatfest, "The Talk."

I really probably should have included her here, since she's already a part of the Eyeball family.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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