TV Odds: David Letterman Takes a Chance with Netflix

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It’s only been two years since David Letterman walked away from the Late Show, but it honestly feels like a lifetime ago. He’s made a few public appearances since, but for the most part, he’s taken himself completely off the grid.

Now, America’s favorite curmudgeon is ready to step back into the limelight. Letterman is set to host a yet-to-be-named show on Netflix scheduled for 2018. Over six one-hour episodes, the series will feature long-form interviews along with some segments where he’ll venture into the field.

That’s all we know for now. Knowing Netflix, they’ll probably grant him a lot of flexibility to just do his thing. So until it premiers, let’s consider some props. 

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David Letterman Odds

Odds he shaves his beard for the show: 2/1

The last time David Letterman hosted the Late Show was also the last time he shaved. Since retiring, he’s grown a beard that makes him look like either a Greek philosopher or a hobo — I’m not sure which.

He’s no longer inside the stuffy world of network television, so maybe he’ll stick with the “worldly vagrant” look.

Odds Paul Shaffer is his sidekick: 4/1

We don’t know if Paul Shaffer, Letterman’s bandleader and longtime sidekick, will be featured on the new show. The Late Show wouldn’t have been the same without him, and the new show seems like it has a place for him. Come on Dave, bring back Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band.

Odds the show is renewed for a second season: 1/2

Compared to the 6000+ shows Letterman taped over at CBS, six episodes a season for Netflix seems very manageable. Even if the 70-year-old retiree is looking to take it easy, the Netflix show shouldn’t be too much of a burden.

Netflix has already tried their luck in the talk show scene with Chelsea Handler, which has had mixed results. Letterman is more-or-less a guaranteed ratings winner for the streaming service, even if they don’t measure ratings in the same way as network television.

Odds to be a guest on his show:

Steve Martin: 5/1

Barack Obama: 8/1

Oprah: 19/1

Jay Leno: 25/1

Donald Trump: 50/1

According to the Netflix press release, Letterman will have “in-depth conversations with extraordinary people”. That doesn’t really narrow it down for us.

Steve Martin was always an amazing guest on the Late Show and definitely qualifies as an extraordinary person. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I think there’s a decent chance we’ll be seeing the two of them together again.

Barack Obama and Jay Leno are both unemployed now, so they probably have plenty of free time on their hands. Leno and Letterman seem to have buried the hatchet and Obama was always welcoming of Letterman’s mockery.

And finally, this is Letterman’s chance to take on President Trump. Stephen Colbert, Letterman’s successor at The Late Show, has pretty much devoted his entire show to lampooning the President. Perhaps Letterman will want to take a few shots of his own.