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Late Friday, word emerged that CBS has talked to two big-name late night cable comics to replace David Letterman on The Late Show. The Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert and Chelsea Lately’s Chelsea Handler were both linked to CBS.
Sources for Mashable said that Colbert, whose show airs on Viacom-owned Comedy Central, is the network’s top choice and he is interested. Colbert is signed with Comedy Central through 2014 and Letterman is set to retire next year. Viacom also owns CBS.
CBS also spoke with The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, according to Mashable, but top brass seems more interested in Colbert.
As for Handler, TheWrap reports that she recently began talks with the network after word got out that she’s leaving NBCUniversal’s E! Network. While CBS initially considered her for the 12:35 a.m. slot if Craig Ferguson doesn’t re-sign, since Letterman has decided to retire, that opens up the 11:35 p.m. slot.
Handler is an acquired taste for some, so CBS will be taking a big gamble with her.
There was also a report that John Oliver was approached before he went to HBO.
CBS didn’t comment on either report. “We’re not commenting on any rumors or speculation about succession,” a spokesman told Mashable.
You can check out our top picks for Letterman’s replacement here.