The company hasn’t released many details of the topics, format or guests, but it sounds like it won’t just be a standard in-the-studio talk show — Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement, “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.”
While Netflix has had its most high-profile successes with scripted shows like House of Cards and Stranger Things, it’s also home to Chelsea and Bill Nye Saves the World. Neither show seems like a big hit (it’s hard to say for sure, since the company doesn’t release ratings information), but Netflix is still funding them — it probably helps that they’re cheaper to produce than something like Sense8.
Letterman, meanwhile, has largely stayed out of the spotlight since leaving the Late Show on CBS in 2015. He did, however, appear in the climate change documentary program Years of Living Dangerously and he also reminded everyone how funny he can be in a recent, wide-ranging interview with New York magazine.
Letterman’s new show is scheduled to premiere next year.
“Here’s what I have learned: If you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first,” he said in the announcement. “Thanks for watching. Drive safely.”