David Letterman Replaces Neil Young at Rock Hall Show

David Letterman will replace an ailing Neil Young as the person inducting Pearl Jam into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Friday.

According to a statement from the hall, Young “is regrettably no longer able to induct Pearl Jam” due to illness and is “thrilled” that former TV talk-show host Letterman will substitute. Pearl Jam made its “Late Show with David Letterman” debut in 1996 with a version of “Hail, Hail.”

In addition to Pearl Jam, the new rock class incudes the late rapper Tupac Shakur, ELO, Journey, Nile Rodgers, Joan Baez and Yes. The ceremony will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The Hall of Fame is located in Cleveland. (AP)

Nielsen: 13.76 Million Viewers for Letterman’s Last Show

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Comic celebrities turned out for David Letterman’s late-night farewell — and so did his biggest audience in more than 21 years.

The Nielsen company said Thursday that 13.76 million viewers saw Letterman end his 33-year career as a late-night TV host with a final show Wednesday night. The last time Letterman had so many viewers was in February 1994, when his show aired after CBS’ telecast of the Winter Olympics.

More people watched Letterman than anything else in prime time on Wednesday night. Letterman’s final show started at 11:35 p.m. and lasted more than an hour as CBS let it run long.

Jay Leno’s farewell last February was seen by 14.6 million viewers.

Both exits take a back seat to the man who came before them. Johnny Carson’s signoff in 1992 drew more than 41.4 million viewers — more than Letterman and Leno combined. But in fairness, that was a time when most Americans were still getting TV off the air — not through the myriad options viewers have today. (AP)

‘Letterman’ Cue Card Man Fired for Colleague Clash

David Letterman’s longtime cue-card holder says he wound up cuing his own firing by getting aggressive with a colleague.

Tony Mendez tells the New York Post (http://bit.ly/ZKEOSD ) in a story published Sunday he lost his job after grabbing a co-worker by the shirt Oct. 9 behind the scenes at CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman.”

CBS directed an inquiry to Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants. A spokesman said Worldwide Pants won’t comment on personnel matters.

Attempts to reach Mendez weren’t immediately successful Sunday.

The 69-year-old Mendez tells the Post he knows he knows he shouldn’t have laid a hand on his colleague. He says Letterman wasn’t apprised of any tensions between the two.

Mendez has become familiar to “Late Show” viewers, appearing in episodes going back to at least 1997.
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Information from: New York Post, http://www.nypost.com (AP)

Reaction on Joan Rivers’ Death

The cause of Joan Rivers’ death will remain a mystery for a while longer. The New York City medical examiner says further tests are needed to determine what caused the comedian to go into cardiac arrest during a routine procedure at a doctor’s office last week. Rivers died yesterday — a week after she was stricken. Meanwhile, the New York State Health Department is examining the circumstances surrounding her death.

Services for Rivers will be private. Her funeral is set for Sunday at a New York synagogue. No other details were released.

There’s word on what will E! will do with “Fashion Police” — the show Rivers hosted and her daughter Melissa produced. For now, the network says it is “mourning our beloved Joan” — and will provide updates on programming decisions later.

“Joan Rivers was an extraordinary woman with an original and indefatigable spirit, an unstoppable sense of humor and an enormous zest for life. She will be hugely missed and utterly irreplaceable.” — Prince Charles in a statement.
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“I first met Joan Molinsky, that was her real name, when I was 17 years old and we were both in an off, off Broadway show called `Driftwood.’ She was a real character then and now. I am so upset by her passing. She was too young and had too much to do still.” — Barbra Streisand in a statement.
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“Joan Rivers brought laughter to millions around the world and was proud of her Jewish heritage and a vocal supporter of the state of Israel. We will miss her deeply and we send our heartfelt condolences to her family.” — Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement.
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“I’m completely heartbroken by the loss of my beloved Joan. Not only was she my boss, she was and will always be my teacher, therapist, closest friend, inspiration and the only grandmother I ever knew. She was family and I will never forget her. Laughter will be difficult for a while but when I’m sad, lonely or upset all I will have to do is think of Joan and a smile will cross my face. … I will miss you deeply and will always hear your voice in my head saying, `My darling get out there and be you!”‘ — Rivers’ fellow “Fashion Police” panelist Kelly Osbourne in a statement.
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“Here’s a woman, a real pioneer for other women looking for careers in stand-up comedy. And talk about guts – she would come out here and sit in this chair and say some things that were unbelievable, just where you would have to swallow pretty hard. But it was hilarious …. The force of her comedy was overpowering.” — Host David Letterman from the taping of Thursday’s “Late Show.”
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“Goodbye my friend Joan Rivers. You were a huge part of my professional life and you brightened up the horizon with your Chutzpah! Sad!” — Musician Boy George in a tweet. (AP)

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Craig Ferguson Announces Late-Night Retirement

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Craig Ferguson says he is stepping down as host of CBS’ “The Late Late Show” this year.

CBS says Ferguson made the announcement to his studio audience Monday.

It’s the second late-night retirement for CBS, with David Letterman’s decision to leave “Late Show” in 2015. Letterman will be succeeded by Stephen Colbert.

Ferguson says he will retire this December. CBS did not announce who will replace him. (AP)

Stephen Colbert to Replace David Letterman on Late Show

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Stephen Colbert is replacing David Letterman as CBS’ late-night host.

CBS announced Thursday that “The Colbert Report” host will replace Letterman when he retires next year. Colbert is signed for five years.

Letterman has hosted “Late Show with David Letterman” since 1993. He turns 67 Saturday.

Colbert says in a statement: “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.”

Comedy Central’s Emmy-winning “The Colbert Report” has been a hit since its launch in 2005. (AP)

David Letterman to Retire From ‘Late Show’ in 2015

David Letterman says he’s retiring next year as host of “Late Show.”

During a taping of Thursday’s show, Letterman said he has informed his CBS bosses that he will step down in 2015, when his current contract expires. He told his audience he expects his departure will be “at least a year or so” from now.

Letterman turns 67 next week. He has the longest tenure of any late-night talk show host in U.S. television history, nearing 32 years since he created “Late Night” at NBC in 1982. He jumped to CBS to start “Late Show” in 1993.

Jay Leno, his rival to host NBC’s “Tonight Show,” retired earlier this year, making way for Jimmy Fallon.

“The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance. And I phoned him just before the program, and I said ‘Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring,’” said Letterman.

“I just want to reiterate my thanks for the support from the network, all of the people who have worked here, all of the people in the theater, all the people on the staff, everybody at home, thank you very much. What this means now, is that Paul and I can be married.”

“We don’t have the timetable for this precisely down – I think it will be at least a year or so, but sometime in the not too distant future, 2015 for the love of God, in fact, Paul and I will be wrapping things up,” he added, to a standing ovation from the audience in the Ed Sullivan Theater.

(CBS, AP)