10 April 2014 10:48 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Skeptics will wonder how long CBS had Stephen Colbert in its back pocket, given how smoothly the baton pass worked out. But whatever the back story, the network has found the perfect choice to replace David Letterman, in a coup that could potentially reset the latenight race to a scenario much like the one that existed for years between Letterman and Jay Leno.

Anyone fretting about Colbert’s ability to hold down an hour or step out of the self-absorbed conservative talkshow host persona he’s affected on “The Colbert Report” clearly hasn’t been paying attention to the obvious, which is Colbert’s gift for improvising in that character is virtually unmatched. (Sacha Baron Cohen would be a close cousin, but it’s a different vibe.)

Those talents should serve him extraordinarily well in creating the show at the desk – the area where Letterman (and before that Johnny Carson) traditionally outshone Leno, »


- Brian Lowry

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