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TV Critics Tour: CBS 'Late Late Show' host could come from politics

TV personality Stephen Colbert at the 65th Annual

TV personality Stephen Colbert at the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California. Photo Credit: Getty Images / FREDERIC J. BROWN

Beverly Hills: All bets are off - or perhaps all bets are on - regarding the future of CBS's "Late Late Show," CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler told TV writers here a little while ago. The network's exploring new formats, new ideas for hosts, and possibly a whole new way of presenting something that - in basic outline - hasn't changed all that much on the broadcast networks since the era of Steve Allen.

Craig Ferguson will leave the show next year - probably when David Letterman steps down (no time table offered by Tassler) - but Tassler indicated (strongly) that this show will not be what anyone is expecting....

"Twelve thirty," she said, "is really interesting. We're looking at it through a very different lens - trying to look at the entire landscape and in terms of format, there is certainly a knee jerk to go for a more traditional behind-the-desk format, but who knows? There is an opportunity for us to look at all different kinds of hosts, not only from the comic world, but maybe there's someone from the political world. We're just keeping a very open mind and want to be very thorough..."

She added - in response to a question about "rotating hosts" - that that too might be "a consideration" but she seemed to indicate that was probably unlikely.

Meanwhile, no decisions on the timing for David Letterman's enddate next year, or any additional details on Stephen Colbert's program either. Tassler said those discussions will begin in earnest in August. But "we know he's retiring his character and he does want an interview format. He will have a band - or not. He's thinking about a lot of those things, but as to dates, we're in the middle of those [decisions.]"

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