The David Letterman Show
was a live morning NBC talk show
hosted by David Letterman
from June 23 to October 24, 1980. The show originally ran for 90 minutes, then 60 minutes from August 4 onward.
A precursor to 1982's Late Night with David Letterman
, the show was a critical success but the edgy comedy did not go over well with morning television watchers, more used to talk shows
, soap operas
, game shows
and prime time reruns
. The show had replaced the daytime version of Hollywood Squares
, High Rollers
, and Chain Reaction
on NBC's schedule (NBC president Fred Silverman
also considered canceling Wheel of Fortune
as well, but he changed his mind upon discovering that the show was in fact one of the highest-rated programs on the network's morning schedule).
The original producer was Bob Stewart
, a veteran quiz-show creator who had enlisted Letterman as a panelist on Pyramid
from 1978 onward. However, due to creative differences, Stewart left the show four days before its premiere. Michael McDonald
of the Doobie Brothers
wrote the opening theme of the show.
Behind the scenes were Hal Gurnee
directing and Barry Sand
producing. The writing staff consisted of Merrill Markoe
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