Stephen Colbert will take over the Late Show on September 8th, replacing David Letterman after more than two decades as host. Letterman's final show will be May 20th. Colbert was chosen to be the Late Show's new host — the second host in its entire history — last April, at which point he began winding down the long-running Colbert Report. The Report ended its nine-year run last month with a star-studded finale, giving Colbert over half a year's time to prepare his new series and begin moving into the Ed Sullivan Theater once Letterman moves out.
Colbert will have far more range on the Late Show
That's a lot time for fans of Colbert to see him off the air, but it's widely expected that he'll come into the Late Show refreshed and ready to take advantage of the broader comedy palette that it'll afford him. For the past nine years, he's been focused on political satire of a very specific, exaggerated type. That character won't come with him over to CBS, giving him much more room as a comedian and host. There's no word yet on what Colbert's incarnation of the Late Show will be like, but it'll be interesting to see what he does with it to compete with Jimmy Fallon's eccentric incarnation of The Tonight Show.
CBS also announced today that the Late Late Show's new incarnation, featuring host James Corden, will premiere March 23rd. Craig Ferguson ended his run as host last month.