So far as it comes to its placement online, “The Late Show with David Letterman” has quickly transitioned into being “no show with David Letterman.” All of the videos have been taken off of YouTube, and we imagine them all vanishing in other forms over the course of the next little while. What in the world is going on here?
As it turns out, this is an issue related mostly to production, and not CBS deciding that they want to wash their hands of someone who spent the better part of multiple decades helping them to have some sort of genuine presence in late-night. According to Vulture, the reason for the takedown is that the rights of these videos now go back to Letterman’s production company Worldwide Pants, who were responsible for delivering this show for so many years. Eventually, we certainly expect that they will find some sort of way to distribute the content on their own, but that has not been made clear just yet.
One of the reasons why this move was so conducive to CBS at the moment is that with Letterman’s show gone, they can now produce the entirety of their late-night programming in-house. The upcoming “Late Show” hosted by Stephen Colbert, coupled with “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” are each CBS productions, and they will be easier to remain in posterity online than anything from an outside studio.
While it would be easy to roll our eyes at CBS for not being ahead of the curb on all of this, is it really fair to expect them to realize that all of this could be coming up at some point? The internet was hardly so prominent, especially when it came to video streaming, when Letterman was first hired in the nineties.
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