Netflix, which has been signing A-list comedians to its roster, is bringing late-night icon David Letterman back from retirement. The Internet network has picked up a six-episode series starring the former Late Show and Late Night host. Each hourlong episode will feature Letterman conducting a longform conversation with a single guest and in-the-field segments, in which he will explore topics on his own. The yet-untitled series is set to premiere in 2018.
“I feel excited and lucky to be working on this project for Netflix,” Letterman said in a statement. “Here’s what I have learned: If you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first. Thanks for watching. Drive safely.”
Letterman is the longest-serving late-night host in American television history; He was the the original host of Late Night on NBC and then Late Show on CBS until his departure in May 2015. Since then, Letterman, sporting a long beard, has stayed largely out of the spotlight, only doing a handful of TV appearances, more notably in the National Geographic climate-change docu series Years of Living Dangerously.
“Just meeting David Letterman was a thrill; imagine how exciting it is for me to announce that we will be working together,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix. “David Letterman is a true television icon, and I can’t wait to see him out in the wild, out from behind the desk and interviewing the people he finds most interesting. We’ll have to see if he keeps the beard.”
The David Letterman series is being produced by RadicalMedia, the company behind Netflix’s What Happened, Miss Simone?, Oh Hello on Broadway, Abstract: The Art of Design and Letterman’s Worldwide Pants banner.
Over the past year or so, Netflix has locked in some of the biggest names in stand-up from the past three decades, signing a major deal with Jerry Seinfeld and picking up stand-up specials headlined by Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K. and Amy Schumer.
For his work, Letterman has earned 10 Emmys and two Peabody Awards. He also is a Kennedy Center Honoree and will receive the Mark Twain Prize in October.