Retired for just two years, David Letterman just un-retired, announcing a six-episode interview series for Netflix.
Per the streaming service, the still-to-be-named series — which will launch next year — will combine the “two interests for which he is renowned: In depth conversations with extraordinary people, and in-the-field segments expressing curiosity and humor.” Each episode will feature one interview with “a singular guest,” while Letterman will also “explore topics on his own, away from the studio.”
In a statement, Letterman, 70, said: “I feel excited and lucky to be working on this project for Netflix. Here’s what I have learned: If you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first.” He added — puckishly of course — “thanks for watching, drive safely.”
Since retiring from “The Late Show” in 2015, Letterman and his world-famous beard haven’t precisely disappeared. He appeared in a Nat Geo series in October, 2016, titled “Years of Living Dangerously,” in which he traveled to India to explore the country’s efforts to bring electricity to millions without power. The Newsday review was positive — in the “bottom line” saying, “Former late-night talk show guy goes to India, reports on global warming, cracks occasional jokes. Also makes a plausible case for a second career act” — while further noting that while this was not a “full-fledged ‘second act’ just yet, for all we — or Letterman — know, this could just be the intermission.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, he indicated he wants to do more pedagogic-like TV in this vein, so let’s go ahead and call this the likely beginning of the second act.”
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.
In a statement, Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said, “Just meeting David Letterman was a thrill; imagine how exciting it is for me to announce that we will be working together. David Letterman is a true television icon, and I can’t wait to see him out in the wild, out from behind the desk and interviewing the people he finds most interesting. We’ll have to see if he keeps the beard.”