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Lassally Gets Late, Late Helm

Venerable late-night producer Peter Lassally, who fought for Craig Ferguson to be hired as host of The Late Late Show and has, in essence, been running the show since Ferguson took over, is formally taking over the role of executive producer in a shakeup by Worldwide Pants.

As part of the move, the contract of Executive Producer Todd Yasui was not renewed by David Letterman’s production company, which has hired former Tonight Show executive producer Gary Considine as co-executive producer. 

A former NBC executive who has also produced other late night fare as well as Access Hollywood, Considine was executive producer of The Tonight Show from 1992-2002.

In addition, Mike Armstrong has replaced Hugh Fink as head writer.  Armstrong has been on the show as head writer for “a few weeks now,” according to a source close to the show. 

Fink departed to launch the Showbiz Show with David Spade on Comedy Central, exercising an existing clause in his contract stating that he could leave if the Spade show ever got a green light.

Lassally, who has been overseeing the show on a daily basis in his role as senior VP/West Coast for Worldwide Pants, will keep the title with the company.

Considered the dean of late-night producers after having produced both Johnny Carson and David Letterman, Lassally led the search for a replacement for Craig Kilborn, who left the show in 2004. 

Since Ferguson began, Lassally has been working behind the scenes to bring the former actor along in his first hosting role. 

Among tweaks Lassally has made in the show’s first six months were replacing Ferguson’s joke-peppered monologue of jokes with a more story-telling style in which he waxes on experiences and people in his day-to-day life.