A few years ago, the legendary David Letterman retired from The Late Show, as well as the late night talk show scene in general, stepping down after over three decades of celebrity interviews, stupid pet tricks, and Top 10 lists. So it was somewhat surprising when it was recently announced that he was gearing up for another chat-infused project with Netflix. But it's far less of a curious situation when it's realized that Letterman will reportedly be making a whopping $2 million an episode for the upcoming series. That's a lot of index cards.
The still-in-development series, which doesn't have an official title yet, is set to cover six episodes, which means David Letterman will be banking a cool $12 million in total. Not a bad way for the comedian to make his TV comeback, and if Netflix is dropping that much moolah on the man himself, here's hoping the show's production value is insanely top quality, so that fans can enjoy some of that financial splendor as well.
To offer some perspective on this, there are three other TV hosts that have an annual salary equal to $12 million: Conan O'Brien, Anderson Cooper, and Ryan Seacrest. And these are hosts that put out six episodes in just over a traditional work week, making their per-episode salaries far less mind-boggling than David Letterman's.
Of course, David Letterman won't be earning $2 million an episode for any one particular duty on the new show, as he'll wear several different hats. As Variety points out with its list of TV's highest-paid entertainers, that total not only accounts for Letterman's hosting duties, but also his work as a producer, writer and assumedly any other duties he's taking care of. And he'll probably play a huge part in guiding where this show goes, both behind the camera and in front of it.
Sounding like a modified version of CBS' Late Show, though probably with far different network notes, David Letterman's new show will see him sharing interesting stories with some of his favorite celebrities, though only one per show, as they'll be extended conversations. As well, he'll be going out and about in the outside world for comedic segments. It's definitely sad that his adorable mother isn't still around to make pie-filled appearances on Netflix.
We're not at all sure when we'll get to learn this show's actual title, so all bets are off as far as when David Letterman will actually make it to Netflix, but the show is planned for a 2018 premiere. There's lots of great TV to come between now and then, though, which you can find both with our 2017 Netflix guide and our fall TV schedule.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.