David Letterman Returns to Talk Shows with Netflix
David Letterman’s much-anticipated return to talk television finally has a launch date: Next Friday, Jan. 12. Netflix confirmed Friday morning it will stream the first of six Letterman talk specials then, with former President Barack Obama as the first guest.
David Letterman was a consistent presence on late night television for 23 years. Starting off on NBC with Late Night with David Letterman in 1982, he followed the Tonight Show for 11 years. When he was passed over to replace Johnny Carson for Jay Leno, Letterman headed to CBS and founded the Late Show with David Letterman in 1993, where he would stay until his retirement in 2015. But Netflix is now pulling him back in to host a monthly talk show with a single guest called My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.
Netflix announced Letterman’s 60-minute shows, called “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman,” to considerable fanfare last year, but held off on details about dates and guests. Dave’s lineup of influential guests includes George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey, Howard Stern and Obama. The former president will be Letterman’s first guest on Jan. 12 and the interview will serve as Obama’s first television talk show appearance since leaving office.
News of Letterman’s launch broke in a slightly unorthodox way –– on an ad posted on Vanity Fair’s February e-edition, which went out to subscribers early Friday morning. In the ad, a beaming and bearded Letterman — also in tie — is standing next to a beaming and clean-shaven ex-president (no tie). “My next guest needs no introduction,” per the ad’s tagline.
The synopsis for the series reads:
David Letterman is out of retirement and returning to television with a six-episode, 60-minute Netflix series — My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. The first episode will premiere on Friday, January 12, 2018 with each subsequent episode streaming monthly from February to June. Dave’s lineup of influential guests includes George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey, Howard Stern and President Barack Obama.
As former colleagues know, Letterman has a serious side, with serious interests. Some speculated that retirement would be short-lived and that Letterman might turn up on radio in a Sirius-type interview program, or back on TV in a similar format.