Another late-night host is leaving CBS. The Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson will be stepping down in December, marking an overhaul of the network’s late-night lineup with the pending departure of David Letterman next year.
Ferguson announced his exit during the Monday-night taping of his show (which will air at 12:35 a.m. E.T. Tuesday), Variety reports. CBS issued a statement Monday, in which the Scottish-American host 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.
There has been speculation that Ferguson, who has been in the slot since 2005, would be departing this year with his contract expiring and Letterman’s production company reportedly not producing any more late shows after the host departs. The Late Late Show was averaging just under 1.5 million viewers vs. Late Night’s 2.2 million recently.
Ferguson's contract also reportedly guaranteed a payout of between $8 million and $10 million if the network decided to give the Late Show hosting gig to anyone else, which it did when Stephen Colbert was tapped to take over for Letterman when he retires in 2015.
And while Colbert is already in place to join the late-night lineup, Ferguson’s replacement has yet to be announced. Neil Patrick Harris has been floated as a contender, though other hosts who were rumored to be in the running like Chelsea Handler have already been ruled out.
On Monday, Lena Dunham tweeted support for Ferguson, who conducted the Girls creator's first talk-show interview.