Stephen Colbert, CBS Extend ‘Late Show’ Contract Through 2026

The extension comes as the late night host’s contract was set to expire at the end of the year

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert – (CBS)

“Late Show” host and executive producer Stephen Colbert is sticking around at the CBS late night program for another three years.

Colbert, whose contract was set to expire at the end of 2023, has agreed to extend his contract through 2026. He first took over hosting duties in September 2015 from David Letterman.

The news came as CBS has been airing repeats of the comedy variety talk show since the Writers Guild of America strike began on May 2 after the group was unable to reach an agreement in contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The WGA strike involves a long list of concerns that the writers want Hollywood studios to address, from the use of artificial intelligence to the low pay involved in writing streaming series to reining in “mini-rooms” used to skirt contractual pay practices.

“[Colbert] is happy — not so happy right now as they’re not working — but they’re really happy and it’s a really cohesive group that is firing on all cylinders, and Stephen is really enjoying himself,” CBS president and CEO George Cheeks said at the Banff World Media Festival on Tuesday. “We just extended [the contract] for another three years, and I was praying that was going to happen.”

In addition to Colbert, “The Late Show” is executive produced by Tom Purcell and Jon Stewart.

Additionally, Cheeks spoke about the upcoming “@Midnight” reboot, which will be produced by Colbert and replace “The Late Late Show With James Corden.”

“The 12:30 a.m. slot is ripe for reinvention. There aren’t a ton of people watching at that hour, you really do need to think about what is the true cross platform version,” Cheeks said. “What we ended up doing, first of all, it’s Funny or Die and Stephen Colbert, so the auspices couldn’t be any better. But when we sat down and talked about it, we talked about ‘@Midnight,’ and it’s sort of been an irreverent comedy game show with stand-up comics and celebrities as guests. To me, it has a really nice feel coming out of Colbert.”

The original improv comedy show, which ran from 2013 to 2017 on Comedy Central, was hosted by Chris Hardick and posted Internet-themed questions to its three guests. Hardwick is not expected to return to the reboot.