Craig Ferguson Eyes Late-Night Return With TV-Focused Talk Show ‘Channel Surf’
Sony Pictures is looking to bring Craig Ferguson back to late-night TV as soon as Fall 2023. The production house is shopping a new half-hour format starring the former host of The Late Late Show. He’ll unpack the week in TV with friends.
Channel Surf with Craig Ferguson would be a syndicated series produced by Whisper North, a division of SPT-backed production company Whisper, per Deadline. Ferguson filmed a pilot of the series in the UK earlier in January. The series would feature Ferguson and friends reviewing “the shocking, surprising, and hilarious moments of the week’s shows.” (If only this came out in time for The White Lotus Season 2 finale.)
Ferguson left The Late Late Show in 2014 after 10 years of leading the series. Channel Surf would mark his return to the late-night arena just as James Corden, his replacement, is leaving (his last show airs in 2023 after having hosted since March 2015). The Late Late Show had rotating guest hosts between Ferguson’s departure and Corden’s arrival.
The show is only a half-hour in hopes that it can snag increasingly available time slots currently occupied by sitcom reruns. Fewer sitcoms are available for syndicated reruns nowadays, so Sony is hoping to fill that absence.
“With a shortage of sitcoms available for stations, viewers need a place to laugh. Channel Surf is that perfect show,” Zack Hernandez, SVP, US Syndication Sales, SPT, told Deadline. “Craig shot a hilarious pilot, and we can’t wait to reintroduce our buyers to him and look forward to giving audiences a chance to watch this very funny show.”
“I wanted to do Channel Surf because I think television is ready for the return of the silly/funny/occasional lip-synching puppet format,” Ferguson said. “Also, it’s a TV show which contains clips of questionable moments from other TV shows thus creating a spectacular visual turducken of stupid.”
Ferguson would executive produce Channel Surf along with Whisper North managing director Tom McLennan. America’s Got Talent‘s Richard Easter and longtime Ferguson collaborator Joe Bolter will write the series. Bolter was a writer on Ferguson’s Late Late Show and has worked with him for around 15 years total.