CBS, Colbert Address ‘Uneven’ Ratings, Deny Rumors of a Time Slot Switch With Corden

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Stephen Colbert. Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Though he entered the world of late-night with much hullabaloo, Stephen Colbert is still finding his way with The Late Show, which has the challenge of reintroducing the host to the world when he's playing himself, and not just a character with the same name. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Colbert spoke about some of the show's internal difficulties, which were partially brought to light with the recent hiring of Chris Licht as The Late Show's new showrunner. CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller conceded that The Late Show's performance has been "uneven," but emphasized that the show has a chance to show off its political chops during the conventions (see: Laura Benanti's recent appearance as Melania Trump, or Colbert's reteam with Jon Stewart). 

Geller and Colbert also acknowledged the persistent rumors, first given significant attention in an interview between Howard Stern and James Corden, that the network would replace Colbert with Corden, whose viral videos have made his Late Late Show a breakout hit. "We have no plans to flip the two shows," Geller said, adding that they are different kinds of shows with different kinds of hosts. "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?'" When asked about the rumors himself, Colbert said that, though the rumors have little basis in fact, the message behind them stings. "The implication of that question is that the show isn't good enough in its present position," he said. "So of course that makes you feel bad. But it doesn't jibe with what I know about our show, so you recover."