The five-year agreement between CBS and Colbert was announced by Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation, and Nina Tassler, Chairman of CBS Entertainment.
"Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television," said Moonves. "David Letterman's legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today's announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night."
"Stephen is a multi-talented and respected host, writer, producer, satirist and comedian who blazes a trail of thought-provoking conversation, humor and innovation with everything he touches," said Tassler. "He is a presence on every stage, with interests and notable accomplishments across a wide spectrum of entertainment, politics, publishing and music. We welcome Stephen to CBS with great pride and excitement, and look forward to introducing him to our network television vie wers in late night."
"Simply being a guest on David Letterman's show has been a highlight of my career," said Colbert. "I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave's lead." Adding, "I'm thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth."
Colbert's premiere will be determined by Letterman's timetable in retiring.