Craig Ferguson Quits Late Late Show, Says Plan Was in Place Before Letterman Announced Exit

Craig-FergusonThe Late Late Show is over for Craig Ferguson.

Ferguson announced during the taping of Monday’s program that he will step down as host of The Late Late Show in December 2014. The news follows CBS’ decision to tap Stephen Colbert — and not Ferguson — to succeed David Letterman as host of The Late Show. Ferguson, however, says he was already laying out his exit plan at the time Letterman broke his own news. He then agreed to push his exit date back from summer to December, at CBS’ request.

Regardless, because of the timing, Ferguson tells Variety, “[P]eople are going to say ‘Oh he’s leaving because of [Colbert getting Late Show].’ No matter what I say or what I do, they’re gonna say that. Well they can say what they like. It’s America. I understand.”

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In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Ferguson said, “CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling.’ But we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much.”

“During his 10 years as host, Craig has elevated CBS to new creative and competitive heights at 12:30,” CBS Entertainment chair Nina Tassler said in a statement. “He infused the broadcast with tremendous energy, unique comedy, insightful interviews and some of the most heartfelt monologues seen on television. [His] versatile talents as a writer, producer, actor and comedian speak to his great days ahead. While we’ll miss Craig and can’t thank him enough for his contributions to both the show and the Network, we respect his decision to move on, and we look forward to celebrating his final broadcasts during the next eight months.”

A replacement for Ferguson is expected to be named in the coming weeks. Who do you think should take over The Late Late Show? Submit your suggestions in the comments section below.

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