Colbert’s ‘Late Show’ in Trouble, New Exec Producer Brought on to Address “Growing Pains”


CBS has appointed a new executive producer for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to help streamline the show, which is reportedly still going through “growing pains” after eight months on the air, according to CBS chief Les Moonves.

The producer, CBS News Vice President of Programming Chris Licht, comes to the show by way of CBS morning news show, CBS This Morning. According to the New York Times , his role will be to handle many of the day-to-day duties related to running a TV show, which Colbert previously insisted on handling himself.

According to the report, Licht’s presence will give Colbert time to “concentrate on being himself,” referring to the fact that, unlike on The Colbert Report, the Late Show‘s Stephen Colbert is not a (plainly stated) persona, and does not have a clearly defined voice.

But, as the report specifies, there are larger implications at play. The word is that the show, which seems to have fallen into place as the number-two late night show behind The Tonight Show, is not generating the kind of buzz as other late night shows, including cable competitors such as Last Week tonight with John Oliver and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

Bringing in Licht, whose background is in news rather than entertainment, may also be a sign that the show may focus more on political humor: Colbert’s political interviews, including segments with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, have been among his largest Late Show successes so far.

Whatever CBS winds up doing, one thing is clear. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is apparently still a work in progress.