NEW ORLEANS - You could say Mayor Mitch Landrieu has drafted his own version of David Letterman’s “Top 10” list, with his reasons why Stephen Colbert, should move “The Late Show” to New Orleans when he takes over for Letterman next year.
At the top of the list, which Landrieu outlined this week in a letter to CBS chairman and chief executive officer Les Moonves, are tax credits, which the mayor said would be attractive to CBS and its late night production. (See letter)
Though Letterman’s show is currently taped in New York and has been associated with the city for decades, a Los Angeles Times article last week reported that the network was being courted by L.A. and other cities interested in becoming a home base for the show, and “is said to be willing to listen to pitches and be wooed.”
Following L.A.’s lead, Landrieu sent a letter to Moonves this week, throwing New Orleans’ hat into the ring.
“Though it may seem like an unlikely fit, New Orleans and The Late Show or its successor would be a great fit,” Landrieu wrote. “New Orleans is a brand unto itself and is particularly attractive for the key demographic you are trying to reach. We offer you not only our unique culture and rich history, but attractive business incentives for film production.”
Landrieu tried to sweeten the pot, by rattling off statistics about the state's “attractive and aggressive film tax credits” which have made the city a mecca for film and television production. He said that includes a 30% tax credit on all qualified direct production Louisiana expenditures and an additional 5% tax credit for payroll expenditures to Louisiana residents.
“It’s that savings to your bottom line that has propelled the creation of ‘Hollywood South,’” the mayor wrote, adding that CBS is well familiar with the tax credits, since it spent millions on its 2013 Super Bowl broadcasts from Jackson Square.
"It is that program which made filming all of your major news and entertainment programming here during the Super Bowl 2013 a great business decision."
As further proof of the region’s film production prowess, Landrieu also cited the recent award-winning films shot in the city and state, including “12 Years a Slave” and “Dallas Buyer’s Club” as well as “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”
“Hosting that kind of talent in New Orleans would likewise make it easy to facilitate interviews with the entertainment industry’s biggest stars,” Landrieu wrote.
Since NBC’s “Tonight Show” has left the West Coast for New York as part of the switch to host Jimmy Fallon, Los Angeles officials are said to be courting Colbert and other productions to fill the void. Mayor Eric Garcetti, for example, wrote Moonves to offer his city as a home for CBS’ late night show, according to the Los Angeles Times report.
Despite the efforts, industry observers have said a move out of New York for the show is unlikely, since CBS owns the Ed Sullivan Theater, where Letterman’s show is based.