Late Night Goodbyes

As the year comes to a close, Stephen Colbert and Craig Ferguson prepare to step down from their respective longtime late-night spots.

click to enlarge Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert

As the year comes to a close, Stephen Colbert and Craig Ferguson prepare to step down from their respective longtime late-night spots.

The Colbert Report (Series Finale, 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Comedy Central) comes to a bittersweet end this week as Colbert prepares for next year’s big gig. While we hate to see him retire his hilarious faux-servative persona — which actually debuted back in 1996 on the short-lived Dana Carvey Show — the real Colbert is a perfect replacement for David Letterman on CBS. For the final Report Thursday, Colbert welcomes longtime friend of the show and Death himself, Grimmy.

Letterman will take his final bow on May 20, 2015, after 33 years of hosting Late Show. As for Colbert’s replacement, The Daily Show’s “Senior Black Correspondent” Larry Wilmore will take over his time slot on Comedy Central. The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore premieres in January.

Changes abound in CBS’ late-night lineup, as Letterman’s after-midnight counterpart Craig Ferguson also leaves his show. Friday’s episode of The Late Late Show (12:30 a.m., CBS) will be Ferguson’s last; he’ll welcome final guest Jay Leno, who is all too familiar with the late-night shuffle.

Ferguson began hosting Late Late in 2005, succeeding Craig Kilborn. It was reported that Ferguson will receive $5 million as a result of him being passed over for Letterman’s replacement. James Corden will take the Late Late reins in March, with Reggie Watts (Comedy Bang! Bang!) serving as bandleader.


Michael Bublé’s Christmas in New York (8 p.m., NBC) – Christmas is next week, which means it’s finally appropriate to indulge in cheesy holiday specials like this without feeling too guilty.

The Sing-Off (Season Premiere, 9 p.m., NBC) – Nick Lachey takes time off from opening his hometown bar with brother Drew (Lachey’s Bar coming soon to OTR!) to host this a cappella choir competition with judges Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy, Jewel and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men.

American Horror Story: Freak Show (10 p.m., FX) – Bette and Dot ask Maggie to help try to get Jimmy out of jail, but Desiree doesn’t trust the suspicious gypsy. The death of a friend causes Pepper to act out, which leads to the debut of AHS favorite, Lily Rabe. She reprises her role as American Horror Story: Asylum character Sister Mary Eunice. We also get a look back at the early years of Elsa’s freak show.


People Magazine Awards (9 p.m., NBC) – Forget the Golden Globes, with their fancy nominations and dream team of hostesses Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. This awards show has Nick Cannon and a “Best People Magazine Cover of the Year” category.

Funniest Commercials of the Year 2014 (10 p.m., Spike) – Comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias counts down some of the most talked-about ads of the year from Doritos, Old Spice and something called Colon 101…


Comedy Bang! Bang! (Season Finale, 11 p.m., IFC) – The Lonely Island brings some holiday cheer for the final episode of the year. Not to fret, Bang Bangers, CB!B! will be back for a 40-episode season in January.


Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) – Amy Adams and One Direction stop by 30 Rock for this year’s holiday episode.


Homeland (Season Finale, 9 p.m., Showtime) – Finally back in the safety (we hope) of the United States, Carrie and Saul investigate Dar Adal’s connection to Haqqani. Carrie also spends time with her daughter Franny, which might actually be more tense and terrifying.


Real World: Skeletons (10 p.m., MTV ) – When tension mounts between Madison and the other roommates, she reveals her dark past and a history of drug abuse.

Ink Master (10 p.m., Spike) – Ink Master alumni James Vaughn, Jime Litwalk, Tatu Baby and Sausage get in the holiday spirit by tatting up folks with Christmas designs for a shot at $10,000. Merry Inkmas!

CONTACT JAC KEARN: [email protected] or @jackern

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