The Awesome Way Stephen Colbert's Late Show Is Changing Up Its Format

stephen colbert late show pointing

Stephen Colbert has been making waves in the late night world, as his Late Show is slowly but surely taking over the prestigious top spot from Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show by capitalizing on Donald Trump's presidency and coaxing the show's monologue and comedy into more political territories. Another tactic the Late Show team has started utilizing involves a bit of a formatting change aiming to make repeat episodes feel new again for fans.

Producers for The Late Show are doing some experimenting with the show's format for previously aired episodes, specifically those tor this week's Thursday and Friday evenings, in that new opening monologues, different sketches and all-new interviews are being paired up with segments and interviews that dedicated viewers have already seen. That way, the show can entice people who may have missed out the ep the first time around, while also encouraging others to "rewatch" the installment for all of its new additions.

The Late Show was originally meant to air two repeat episodes to close this week out, since coverage from the Masters golf tournament is pushing the talk show's start time back. But because Stephen Colbert has had such a successful go at creeping up on The Tonight Show's ratings, it's become extremely important for The Late Show to keep the momentum going in any way imaginable, and without offering audiences an overt reason to change the channel. It's hard to deny that putting new interviews and monologues into repeat episodes is a stellar way of reapplying value.

After all, losing two days of new episodes, especially after yesterday's events involving Donald Trump and Syria, would likely be a damaging blow to The Late Show, which has seen its audiences thrive when the conversations turn to what's happening in and around Washington D.C. While other talk shows are perfectly happy offering up silly celebrity games to keep the viral video views up, Stephen Colbert always has a more interesting method to his madness, and we'll get to see more of it through what will presumably be pre-taped interviews and bits.

This isn't a plan that was formed completely out of the blue or anything, and The Late Show has set up some interesting precedents for it in the past. One week last month was set to air three repeats in a row, but that idea got flipped by Colbert pre-taping a trio of eps ahead of time, so that CBS would still be running new installments, even if the topics covered weren't up to the minute. And it was all preceded last year by Colbert going on video with his thoughts on one of the political debates, and that recording was used in one of that week's repeat episodes. So even if not everything is new to your eyes, something will be.

As an example of the changes, tonight's episode will feature a March 17 interview with NBC star Jerrod Carmichael, but that segment will be combined with new interviews with Holmeland's Many Patinkin and Girls' Zosia Mamet. And for what it's worth, CBS states that this won't be something that gets used in every episode, according to Variety, but that all involved will continue looking for ways to make past episodes more relevant and topical.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs every weeknight on CBS, although its airtimes are erratic thanks to the Masters tournament happening in Georgia, and it will be starting up at 11:50 p.m. ET. To see what shows will be debuting and returning in the near future, head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer TV guide.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.