Letterman lands Obama as first guest on new Netflix show

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Barack Obama tapes an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, U.S., May 4, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Veteran former U.S. talk show host David Letterman will return to television on Jan. 12 in a new Netflix show where his first guest will be former U.S. President Barack Obama, Netflix Inc. said on Friday.

The company’s shares rose as much as 1.5 percent to a record of $208.30.

Called “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman,” the six-episode series will also feature interviews with actor George Clooney, rapper Jay-Z, radio shock jock Howard Stern, comedian Tina Fey and Pakistani education activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, the streaming service said.

Netflix has been spending heavily to produce and acquire content as it races to dominate streaming television and beat competition from traditional media and other streaming players such as Hulu and Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Video.

Letterman’s interview with Obama will mark the former president’s first television talk show appearance since he left office in January last year.

Letterman, 70, left his job as host of “The Late Show” in May 2015, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family after more than 30 years on late night television.

His return to television for Netflix was announced in August 2017, when the quick-witted host said that Pope Francis and President Donald Trump would be top of his wish-list for the series.

Netflix said the new series would consist of 60-minute episodes centered around “one extraordinary figure whom Dave finds fascinating” and that the interviews would take place both inside and outside a studio setting.

The company, home to shows such as “House of Cards” and “Stranger Things,” streams to most countries in the world and has a customer base of about $115.6 million.

The company’s shares have kept pace with its user growth and have risen nearly 60 percent in the past one year.

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