CBS has announced that The Late Show With Stephen Colbert will broadcast two weeks of live shows during the political conventions in July (the shows will air in tape-delay in the Pacific time zone).
The Late Show will air live Monday, July 18, through Thursday, July 21, at 11:35pm ET (taped PT), during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Colbert will then return for more live shows Monday, July 25, through Thursday, July 28, during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Colbert will host each night from his studio in New York, where he and his guests will react to the day’s events. The Late Show will also an an on-site presence at both conventions.
Given Colbert’s past success as a faux-conservative commentator character on The Colbert Report, and his tendency to bring discussion of politics to the traditional late-night environment in his current program, it seems natural for Colbert to want to be able to react immediately to any notable incidents and speeches at the conventions.
Bill Maher seems to have thought likewise, as it was announced recently that he too will be airing live special editions of his HBO series Real Time on July 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 11pm ET (again, tape-delayed PT). In addition to these four half-hour specials, Real Time will also air its regular hourlong show on Friday of both weeks.
It will be interesting to see if other late-night shows follow suit, as a race of sorts has seemed to be developing among late-night programs to give people the sort of political discussion they may not necessarily get from the straight news programs. There is still The Daily Show, of course, with new host Trevor Noah at Comedy Central; Seth Meyers on NBC’s Late Night has really done some outstanding satirical commentary in the wee hours; former Daily Show-er Samantha Bee has been verbally slaying politicians on her new TBS show Full Frontal; and another Daily Show alum, John Oliver, is essential viewing on Sundays with HBO’s Last Week Tonight. Even if any of these other shows don’t end up going live during the conventions, you can bet the hosts will have something to say about them in one way or another.