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Craig Ferguson to Join HD Late-Night Crowd

Scottish-born late night host and actor Craig Ferguson often jokes about the fact that his show has no live band. He could add "and we're not in HD, either" to his playful gripes. That will finally change on Monday, Aug. 31, when his "Late Late Show" will go 1080i.

Ferguson's typical head-to-head competition (depending on the market and time zone) are Jimmy Fallon on NBC and Jimmy Kimmel on ABC—both of whom jumped to HD (1080i and 720p, respectively) a while ago.

Ferguson, who usually follows Letterman on CBS affiliates, and who was steadily growing his audience against Conan O'Brien before the late-night NBC host jumped to the earlier "Tonight Show," is thought to be in a tight ratings race with newcomer Fallon, although extrapolating late-night numbers can be tricky. (In Phoenix, for example, CBS affiliate KPHO-TV delays Ferguson 30 minutes after the end of Letterman in order to repeat its 10 p.m. newscast at 11:35 p.m.).

While Ferguson's traditional cold opening will survive the jump to HD, the Aug. 31 show also will mark the start-up of new show credits opening following the first commercial break that will place Ferguson's likeness within an array of iconic Los Angeles locales. His theme song also will be updated.