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Culture

David Letterman announces TV return with Netflix show

After retiring two years ago from "The Late Show," Letterman will step back into the TV limelight with a new interview show on Netflix. US President Donald Trump and the pope top his list of desired interview partners.

TV viewers who have missed the iconic American late-night talk show host's energetic and witty interviews will celebrate Netflix's Tuesday announcement: David Letterman will return to TV in 2018 with a six-episode series as part of the streaming giant's expansion into original content.

The still-untitled series will allow Letterman to express his "curiosity and humor" through a mix of in-depth interviews and reporting from outside the studio, Netflix said in a statement announcing Letterman's TV project.

David Cameron David Letterman (picture-alliance/dpa/S.Rousseau)

David interviews David: David Letterman (R) hosts then-British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) on 'The Late Show' in 2012

The 70-year-old host retired from CBS' "The Late Show" in May 2015, with millions tuning in to watch his final episode.

His departure marked the end of a 33-year-long stint that made him the longest-running broadcaster on US late-night television. Over the course of his career, Letterman won multiple Emmys and American Comedy Awards, and in May 2017 he received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

He was succeeded on The Late Show" by Stephen Colbert who, along with numerous other American and British TV hosts and comedians, has described Letterman as having strongly influenced his comedic style.

Since retiring, Letterman has rarely made screen appearances, though he did manage to grow superlative facial hair, as Netflix pointed out in its tweet heralding his return.

"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 said in a statement, flashing his still-sharp wit. 

Trump and the pope?

Letterman, who has interviewed famous celebrities, former US presidents, and politicians galore, told Variety magazine that he already has his first interview booked for the new series' first episode, though he did not reveal the individual's name.

Donald Trump meets Pope Francis in the Vatican (Getty Images/AFP/A. Tarantino)

Will Donald Trump or Pope Francis make it first onto David Letterman's new show?

"It's somebody who means a great deal to me," Lettermand told the Hollywood weekly. "The upbringing of this person is so multifaceted it makes your head spin."

US President Donald Trump and Pope Francis top his wish list of interview partners.

"I'd like to talk to President Trump. I've known the guy for 25-30 years," Letterman told Variety.

Netflix's ongoing original content

For the self-described world leader of internet TV, Netflix's Letterman series launch is its latest example of the streaming media giant's foray into original content offerings. Its best-known original series include its first unique offering, "House of Cards," as well as "Orange is the New Black."

The company's announcement came one day after Disney announced it would be ditching Netflix as a streaming services provider and launching its own platform.

Around 104 million global viewers subscribe to Netflix, which operates in over 190 countries.

cmb/kbm (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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