Changes are coming to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. CBS announced today that it’s hired CBS This Morning executive producer Chris Licht for Colbert’s late night show, where Licht will serve as showrunner and co-executive producer. As Variety notes, Colbert has essentially been his own showrunner since Late Show debuted last year, and while he’s excelled when it comes to interviews, CBS is reportedly bringing in Licht with an aim to help the show find cohesion and improve its ratings. Here’s more on the hire from Vulture:
Today’s announcement will almost certainly prompt speculation that CBS execs are unhappy with Late Show, but that would be an oversimplification of the situation. The general consensus inside the network is that Colbert has brought exactly the kind of humor and intellect to the time slot they were expecting from him, and that the show’s ratings — while perhaps a bit below where the network might have wanted — are fine. That said, the Licht hiring suggests CBS (and Colbert) believe Late Show might benefit from a set of outside eyes.
Licht will join Late Show’s lineup of EPs including Jon Stewart, Tom Purcell, and Meredith Bennett. According to Vulture, Purcell oversees the creative aspects of the show while Bennett oversees the business side. Licht’s job as showrunner will be to use his experience and outsider perspective to “bring order to the creative chaos.”