I don’t blame Colbert for taking over Letterman’s spot. That’s quite the opportunity but I just don’t feel it’s the right move for us, the viewer.
Colbert’s success stems from his writing team and his talk-show character (and being on late-night cable doesn’t hurt either). The Colbert Report is pretty focused on topical news and trendy, niche topics. The Late Show is a platform for celebrities.
Maybe CBS will let Colbert and his people totally rearrange the Late Show formula but I doubt it. Network television works (thinks) entirely differently that cable. What flies at 11:30PM on Comedy Central will not fly at 11:30PM on CBS.
And I’m not sure how we’ll all react to Stephen Colbert not being his Report character. He’s a great performer and that character gives him freedom to do/say things he personally may not agree with…and we all know that and love that. It’s entertaining.
I’m not sure if I want to know or care about Stephen Colbert the “normal” person. Maybe I do and just don’t know it yet. And anyone that can generate a big following on cable certainly can’t do any worse on network television.
I’m a big Colbert fan and I trust that Colbert will kick ass and be entertaining, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be hard to accept the change.