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Craig Ferguson in talks with Tribune for late night show

TV talk show host Craig Ferguson with "Geoff" the robot. (Photo: CBS/Worldwide Pants)
TV talk show host Craig Ferguson with “Geoff” the robot. (Photo: CBS/Worldwide Pants)

Craig Ferguson is finalizing a plan to launch a syndicated, early-evening talk show on Tribune Broadcasting’s 40-plus television stations as well as others, the magazine Variety reported late last week.

The new show, which has yet to be formally announced, would be a half-hour long and “paired” with a syndicated sitcom or game show, Variety said.

Ferguson announced in April his intention to vacate his spot as host of CBS’s “Late Late Show” following David Letterman’s departure from the network early next year.

Unlike his current show, which airs well after midnight in most markets, Ferguson’s Tribune program would air at 7:00 p.m.

A syndicated show on Tribune’s 42 television stations would give Ferguson a presence in a little under half of the country. Tribune is currently in discussion with national distributors to give Ferguson a place on non-Tribune owned stations, Variety said.

If the deal is finalized, Ferguson’s late night talk show would debut in fall of 2015.

Despite its low ratings for a network talk program, Ferguson’s show has been a cult hit and has a small, yet loyal, fan base. Tribune is, perhaps, hoping to capitalize on this audience following the failure of the revived “Arsenio Hall Show,” which was canceled earlier this year after just one season.

According to Deadline Hollywood, staples of Ferguson’s CBS show — including “Geoff,” a robot sidekick and “Secretariat,” two men in a horse costume — are expected to carry over to his program on Tribune if the deal goes through.

Variety: Craig Ferguson in late talks to host evening chat show on Tribune TV

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).