CBS announced this morning it will salute David Letterman and his record-breaking broadcasting career with a 90-minute primetime special David Letterman: A Life On Television. Ray Romano will host the program celebrating his more than three decades in television will air from 9:30-11 PM Monday, May 4. The retiring Letterman’s last night as host of CBS’ Late Show will be Wednesday, May 20.

Romano’s the perfect host — his career having been catapulted by a 1995 stand-up appearance on the Picture 7.JPGthe program, which led to development of his CBS comedy series, Everybody Loves Raymond, produced for CBS by Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants. Romano will take viewers through a retrospective of Letterman’s career, starting from his time as a weathercaster in Indiana to his final nights as host of the CBS late-night program.

From CBS’s announcement:

The special will mine the video vault, with highlights including some of the best of Letterman’s interviews with presidents, world leaders, sports figures and the biggest names in entertainment and music. Also, it will feature highlights of Letterman’s trademark show segments, including the Top Ten List, Stupid Pet and Human Tricks, as well as signature stunts that played out against the backdrop of his beloved New York City. The special will also look at some of the most important and poignant moments he has given audiences, including Letterman’s LATE SHOW broadcast from Sept. 17, 2001, the show’s first broadcast after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

When he retires on May 20, Letterman will have hosted 6,028 late night talk show broadcasts over 33 years, spanning his time on “Late Night” and the LATE SHOW, more than any other late night talk show host. He and his shows have been honored with numerous accolades, including 16 Emmy Awards and a staggering 112 Emmy nominations, a 1992 Peabody Award and a prestigious 2012 Kennedy Center Honor. Through his more than three decades on television, Letterman has been credited with changing the talk show genre, providing viewers nightly with an unpredictable hour of inspired interviews and innovative comedy. He has given audiences one-of-a-kind talk show moments with superstars and unknowns, budding comics and headliners, emerging musicians and established legends, top politicians and fascinating human interest guests, while sharing his own personal stories with viewers, becoming one of the most influential broadcasters in television.
DAVID LETTERMAN: A LIFE ON TELEVISION is produced by CBS Eye Productions.