It was just announced that Craig Ferguson will be ending his 10 year run as host of CBS' Late Late Show. I am excited to hear this, because while he is my favorite late night host I am excited to see where he goes. He does not want to get bored with a format and is leaving on his own terms. He has not announced any plans, but he definitely has a lot of cool options. Unlike most late night hosts who want to just keep staying in a time slot Craig could go anywhere. I am sure I am not even close to predicting what he will do next and I am in no position to tell him what he should do. But here are 10 options anyway.
I am not suggesting that he moves exclusively to podcasting, but a podcast presence is an important part of comedy. Creating his own podcast would give him freedom from network standards and censorship. He would not have to edit out his expletives. It would also make use of his excellent skills as an interviewer.
USA is one of the biggest cable networks. Recently, in addition to their hour long dramas, they are moving towards more comedy with extensive Modern Family reruns and the upcoming series Playing House from Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham. A familiar personality like Craig's would be a great way to brand their comedy programming. I am not suggesting a late night show for the network, but see if he could put together something new to establish an identity for the channel.
8. Primetime Late Show
Yes, The Jay Leno Show was a huge bomb as a nightly show on NBC. But honestly, it was not a terrible idea it was just mishandled horribly. Instead of doing something every night a half hour weekly show where Craig can do something similar to The Late Late Show would be an interesting experiment. It would not give him as much freedom as some other options and it sounds like he is not interested in repeating a format, but still is an interesting idea. With how well comedies like Big Bang Theory do on CBS it might be a good idea for the network to keep Craig on to do something a little different that can complement their sitcoms.
Seems like a logical move. Everybody has a sitcom in development and every network and streaming service is looking for new content. Craig has done some pilots and had a memorable run as the boss on The Drew Carey Show. With how good Craig is in front of a studio audience he would be a great performer to build a multi-camera sitcom around.
Or just screw television. It is a stagnate medium. Craig can do his own thing for a wider audience online. He would not be tied down to a brand, time limit or demographic with a web series. He is a creative guy I am sure that he could come up with something really different.
Netflix is coming for television, but what they don't have is something with a sense of urgency. Having the equivalent of a late show without the the burden of a timeslot could be great for Craig and the streaming service. He could comment on the news and interview people promoting things and Netflix could stream it that day. Again, doesn't seem like Craig wants to continue his old format but he could lead the way of hosting a talk show on new media.
Only a week ago I had listed Craig as one of my top choices to portray J. Jonah Jameson and I said that I was surprised that Craig has not gotten more character roles. He is a talented actor with a distinct, likable personality. He would be a fun "Hey, It's That Guy" type of performer. He has also written and directed films, he might have some stories that he really wants to tell.
3. Variety Show
NBC is premiering The Maya Rudolph Show, a variety show based around her. With the success of Key and Peele and other similar shows performer based variety programs may be making a comeback. Craig's late show is somewhat of a variety program as well. Why not give him a primetime show where he can just talk with a skeleton and dance with a horse?
If Craig does want to stick with a network IFC may be the best bet. IFC has been the home for a lot of non-mainstream comedies. Their shows are based around the creators' voice and do well building an online audience. A show dreamed up by Ferguson would make a great follow-up to something like Comedy Bang Bang.
1. Comedy Central
Comedy Central is losing one of their biggest personalities to CBS. There is definitely an opening for someone like Craig. Ferguson's stand-up special aired on Comedy Central and they will need someone who can follow Colbert with an equally good project. Whatever Craig does this may be the best place.