Each iteration of the show was show all highlights in pdf around its host, and maintained distinct identities aside from the title. 16 years, from September 1993 to February 2009.
The program ran four nights a week, Monday to Thursday, from the show’s premiere in February 1982 until May 1987. 11:30 pm to 11:35 pm, with Letterman starting at 12:35 am, at the request of NBC affiliates who wanted more advertising time for their profitable late newscasts. The network aired complete shows from various years five days per week from 1993 until 1996. 2002 until the channel went off the air in 2005. These episodes were stripped of the series theme, open and close. 360-degree” episode, during which the show’s image gradually rotated 360 degrees during the course of an hour. Peter Lassally, a onetime producer for both men.
He moved his show over to CBS virtually unchanged, taking most of the staff, skits, and comedy formats with him. The network still owned the name, but needed to essentially build a new show from scratch. O’Brien auditioned for the show on April 13, 1993. O’Brien’s walk to the studio with constant reminders that he was expected to live up to Letterman, parodying a popular sentiment expressed in the media at the time. However, a warning that the show is about to start causes him to abandon his plans. The crowd for the first show mainly consisted of family members of the crew of the show so as to ensure a positive reception.
O’Brien’s on-camera inexperience showed and the show’s first fourteen weeks were generally considered mediocre. O’Brien, an unknown, was constantly at risk of being fired: NBC had him renewing short-term contracts, thirteen weeks at a time. He was reportedly on the brink of being fired at least once in this period, but NBC had no one to replace him. The show, and O’Brien, slowly improved through experience, and the show’s ratings gradually increased to a level which allowed O’Brien to secure a longer contract, and not have to worry about cancellation. O’Brien’s only guest, marking the only time that Letterman has appeared on an NBC talk show since his departure for CBS.
During the interview, Letterman gave O’Brien positive reinforcement, telling him “there’s nothing like this show anywhere on television” and that he was doing a terrific job as host. The show’s comedy bits and banter had usually depended on O’Brien’s interaction with Richter. 2002, when time came to renew his contract, O’Brien had notable offers from other networks to defect. He ultimately signed through 2005, indicating that it was symbolic of surpassing Letterman’s run with 12 years of hosting. The show celebrated its 10th anniversary, another milestone that O’Brien said he wanted to achieve with his 2002 contract.