Craig Ferguson announced that he will be leaving The Late Late Show in 2015, joking that he and CBS would be “consciously uncoupling” in December.

Craig Ferguson Leaving Late Night

The news of Ferguson’s departure from late night television was announced Monday before the comedian’s official announcement aired late Monday night/early Tuesday morning. Ferguson kicked off his Monday show with a special announcement, saying that this year would be his last as a late night host.

“At the end of this year, I will be stepping down as the host of this show,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson’s contract with CBS expires in 2015, and he announced that he would host The Late Late Show through December before stepping down. No word on what Ferguson plans on doing in 2015, though it’s unlikely the comedian will move to another late night talk show.

In an official statement, Ferguson joked more about his departure from the show, borrowing terminology from Gwyneth Paltrow’s separation announcement.

“CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling,’ but we will spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much,” Ferguson said.

CBS chair Nina Tassler also released a statement, praising Ferguson’s ten years as host of The Late Late Show.

“During his 10 years as host, Craig has elevated CBS to new creative and competitive heights at 12:30. He infused the broadcast with tremendous energy, unique comedy, insightful interviews and some of the most heartfelt monologues seen to television. Craig’s versatile talents as a writer, producer, actor and comedian speak to his great days ahead. While we’ll miss Craig and can’t thank him enough for his contributions to both the show and the Network, we respect his decision to move on, and we look forward to celebrating his final broadcasts during the next eight months,” reads the statement from Tassler.

Craig Ferguson: Not Leaving Because Of David Letterman

While pundits might be quick to say that behind-the-scenes drama is responsible for Ferguson’s exit, Ferguson insists that is not the case. Furthermore, he is not being forced out as part of a CBS effort to completely revamp their late night line up as David Letterman is also leaving his late night show. In fact, Ferguson began planning his exit long before Letterman announced his intentions to retire and originally intended to leave the show over the summer.

“It’s an inevitable thing when David announced his retirement, people are going to say ‘Oh he’s leaving because of that.’ No matter what I say or what I do, they’re gonna say that. Well they can say what they like. It’s America. I understand,” Ferguson told Variety.

Nor is Ferguson’s decision to leave late night intended as an act of bitterness towards CBS after Stephen Colbert was hired to replace Letterman instead of him.

“I had no desire – none – to do that job. I could barely keep it together at 12:30, never mind 11:30,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson emphasized that there is no bad blood between him and the network, and that his decision to leave his post came as a natural desire to keep the job from becoming a burden.

“I wanted to leave the show before I stopped enjoying it. That was my goal. I didn’t want it to be a chore… The whole idea is that show business should have some adventure to it, I think. It’s not about knowing what you’re doing day in and day out, year after year,” Ferguson explained.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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