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CBS To Present 'David Letterman: A Life On Television' Monday, May 4

NEW YORK (CBS) - CBS will salute David Letterman and his legendary broadcasting career with "David Letterman: A Life On Television," a 90-minute primetime special celebrating his more than three decades in television, on Monday, May 4 (9:30-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS.

As previously announced, Letterman will retire as host of CBS’s "Late Show" on Wednesday, May 20.

The special will be hosted by Emmy Award winner Ray Romano, whose own career was propelled by a 1995 stand-up appearance on the "The Late Show with David Letterman." That appearance led into the development of his Emmy Award-winning classic comedy series, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” which was produced for CBS by Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants Incorporated.

Romano will take viewers through a retrospective of Letterman’s career, starting from his time as a weathercaster in Indiana to his final nights as host of the"Late Show" on the Network. 

Bill Murray with David Letterman
Bill Murray spray paints Dave's desk on the first taping of the Late Show with David Letterman, August 30, 1993 on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Alan Singer/CBS ©1993 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

The special will mine the video vault, with highlights including some of the best of Letterman’s interviews with presidents, world leaders, sports figures and the biggest names in entertainment and music. Also, it will feature highlights of Letterman’s trademark show segments, including the Top Ten List, Stupid Pet and Human Tricks, as well as signature stunts that played out against the backdrop of his beloved New York City.

The special will also look at some of the most important and poignant moments he has given audiences, including Letterman’s "Late Show" broadcast from Sept. 17, 2001, the show’s first broadcast after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Dan Rather and David Letterman
Dan Rather, anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News, is comforted by Late Show host David Letterman during a break after Rather was overcome by emotion while discussing the World Trade Center and Pentagon tragedies on The Late Show with David Letterman, September 17, 2001 on the CBS Television Network. This was the first broadcast of The Late Show with David Letterman following the tragedies of September 11, 2001. Photo: John P. Filo/CBS

When he retires on May 20, Letterman will have hosted 6,028 late night talk show broadcasts over 33 years, spanning his time on “Late Night” and the "Late Show," more than any other late night talk show host.  

Letterman has been credited with changing the talk show genre, providing viewers nightly with an unpredictable hour of inspired interviews and innovative comedy. He has given audiences one-of-a-kind talk show moments with superstars and unknowns, budding comics and headliners, emerging musicians and established legends, top politicians and fascinating human interest guests, while sharing his own personal stories with viewers, becoming one of the most influential broadcasters in television.

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