Craig Ferguson: Mirek Towski/DMI/AP
Gary Susman
December 07, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

After a search that lasted more than three months and saw more than 20 candidates audition, CBS and David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants have finally settled on a replacement for Craig Kilborn as the host of The Late Late Show. According to trade reports, it’s Craig Ferguson, the Scottish comic actor best known for his seven-year run on The Drew Carey Show as boss Mr. Wick. The Letterman-produced talk show has been without a permanent host since Kilborn quit in August after five years behind the Late Late Show desk. Months of on-air tryouts followed, with producers giving a week each of callback shows in November to four finalists: Ferguson, former The Hughleys star D.L. Hughley, MTV’s Damien Fahey, and Michael Ian Black, formerly of the Worldwide Pants-produced Ed.

Ferguson’s Scottish burr may prove a surprising sound to TV night owls, used to hearing late-night talk show hosts with flat Midwestern tones. With the demands of his new job, the 42-year-old Ferguson will probably be benching his movie career. He cowrote and starred in such British import comedies as The Big Tease and Saving Grace. He also has a role in this month’s Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

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