EXCLUSIVE: Will Les Moonves have to install a party line? One day after getting a call from NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio urging the CBS boss to keep Late Show in the City That Never Sleeps after David Letterman steps down next year, I’ve learned that Moonves got a call today from LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Film Czar Ken Ziffren imploring him to bring the late-night franchise to the West Coast. The three spoke this afternoon, I’m told.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Garcetti has tried to persuade Moonves to put the City of Angels in his late-night future. On the day Letterman announced that he would be retiring in 2015, the SAG-AFTRA card-carrying mayor wrote to the CBS chief on the matter of Letterman’s successor and where that show would be located. “I am excited for the opportunity to encourage you to bring CBS’ next late-night show to our city — the entertainment capital of the world,” Garcetti wrote to Moonves on April 3.
Garcetti has said from the day he took office last year that encouraging and expanding production in LA a top priority for his administration. To that end, the mayor late last week also starting talking to pols up in Sacramento, who are trying to expand the state’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program, about whether there’s a way to sweeten the pot for Late Show like what New York did last year to snag The Tonight Show back after 40-plus years in Burbank. Not to be outflanked, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito wrote to Moonves on April 4 to beseech him to keep Late Show in the Big Apple post-Letterman. With NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo already having stepped into the growing East Coast/West Coast fray by doing the Top 10 list on Late Show on April 4 — and making a point of Dave’s contribution to the local economy — the only player absent from this late-night drama is California Gov. Jerry Brown. Hope Moonves has cleared some time on his schedule for that one.