Late Show host Stephen Colbert has been selected to anchor a live election night special for Showtime.
Showtime chief David Nevins said Colbert was the “obvious” choice to host the premium cable network’s live coverage of the 2016 presidential race’s decisive night, after the CBS star’s two weeks of live coverage last month during the Republican and Democratic National Conventions produced a significant ratings boost for The Late Show, which has struggled to gain traction since David Letterman’s departure last year.
“The Circus has way more impact than I expected,” Nevins said Thursday according to Deadline, referencing his network’s presidential election cycle docu-series The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth.
“That’s that’s what made me first start thinking about” having Colbert host an election night special, “and who was the talent to do that. Colbert was the obvious one,” Nevin said.
Colbert reprised his Comedy Central character, the faux blowhard conservative “Stephen Colbert,” during a live Late Show segment last month at the RNC in a segment that also featured former Daily Show host Jon Stewart (though Comedy Central later told CBS the character could no longer appear on the network due to copyright claims).
According to Deadline, Colbert’s special election coverage for Showtime will pre-empt the regularly scheduled episode of The Late Show, Showtime programing chief Gary Levine said.
Colbert has struggled to jump-start Late Show ratings since taking over for David Letterman last September, and he routinely trails NBC’s Late Night Starring Jimmy Fallon and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!
It is not yet known what Colbert’s election night coverage for Showtime will entail.
Last month, Colbert donned a costume from the Hunger Games film franchise and took over a microphone on the floor of the Republican National Convention center to mock Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
At the center of power at the RNC pic.twitter.com/R8kBtEI7Hq
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) July 17, 2016
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