David Letterman wants to stick with CBS’ “Late Show” through his contract – and maybe longer – as rival Jay Leno prepares to surrender the “Tonight” reins next year.
“The way I feel now, I would like to go beyond 2010, not much beyond, but you know, enough to go beyond. You always like to be able to excuse yourself on your own terms,” Letterman tells Rolling Stone magazine.
“If the network is happy with that, great. If they wanna make a change in 2010, you know, I’m fine with that, too.”
Letterman questioned why NBC is proceeding with its plan to remove Leno, who consistently tops the late-night ratings.
Conan O’Brien will take over “Tonight” in June 2009, with Jimmy Fallon moving into O’Brien’s “Late Night” chair.
“Unless I’m misunderstanding something, I don’t know why, after the job Jay has done for them, why they would relinquish that,” Letterman said, adding: “I have to believe he was not happy about it.”
As for facing off against O’Brien, he said: “It will be weird to see Conan at 11:30, don’t you think? Which is not to say he can’t succeed, but, no, I don’t know what the competition will be like. I hope we’re able to do OK.”