CBS keeping Letterman promise

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2002

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- CBS says it's delivering on the promises it made to keep David Letterman with the network, heavily promoting his ''Late Show'' and scheduling what it hopes will be stronger lead-ins to the program.

''We had a very easy negotiation with David Letterman,'' CBS President Leslie Moonves said wryly of this spring's contentious talks with the entertainer, who considered jumping to ABC.

Letterman's representatives made specific programming demands, including scheduling the new ''CSI: Miami,'' a spin-off of the hit drama ''CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,'' at 10 p.m., Moonves told members of the Television Critics Association.

The network responded by scheduling the show for 10 p.m. Mondays this fall, Moonves said, although its contract with Letterman didn't require it to do so.

CBS also agreed to use the resources of parent company Viacom Inc. to heavily promote the ''Late Show'' on MTV and other properties.

And the network clearly is trying, Moonves said, recounting a joke comedian Jon Stewart made about how often Letterman was mentioned during the network's recent broadcast of the NCAA basketball championships.

''There was so much promotion I thought Letterman was playing Duke in the semifinals,'' Stewart cracked.



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