Retired for just two years, David Letterman just unretired, announcing a six-episode interview series for Netflix.
Per the streaming service, the still-to-be-named series – which will launch next year – will combine the “two interests for which he is renowned: In-depth conversations with extraordinary people, and in-the-field segments expressing curiosity and humor.” Each episode will feature one interview with “a singular guest,” while Letterman also will “explore topics on his own, away from the studio.”
In a statement, Letterman, 70, said: “I feel excited and lucky to be working on this project for Netflix. Here’s what I have learned: If you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first.” He added – puckishly, of course – “thanks for watching, drive safely.”
Since retiring from “The Late Show” in 2015, Letterman and his world-famous beard haven’t precisely disappeared. He appeared in a Nat Geo series in October 2015, titled “Years of Living Dangerously,” in which he traveled to India to explore the country’s efforts to bring electricity to millions without power.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, he indicated he wants to do more pedagogic-like TV in this vein, so let’s go ahead and call this the likely beginning of the second act.
As former colleagues know, Letterman has a serious side with serious interests. Some speculated that retirement would be short-lived and that Letterman might turn up on radio in a Sirius-type interview program, or back on TV in a similar format.
In a statement, Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said, “Just meeting David Letterman was a thrill; imagine how exciting it is for me to announce that we will be working together. David Letterman is a true television icon, and I can’t wait to see him out in the wild, out from behind the desk and interviewing the people he finds most interesting. We’ll have to see if he keeps the beard.”